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California restricts state travel to four states over LGBT laws

By Eric DuVall
California restricts state travel to four states over LGBT laws
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra addresses delegates on Day 4 of the Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on July 28. He announced California will no longer use taxpayer money for state employee travel to four states over LGBT discrimination. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

June 23 (UPI) -- Officials in California said the state would cut off funds for travel to four other states due to laws deemed discriminatory against the LGBT community.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the Golden State would no longer use taxpayer money to pay for employees to travel to Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota. Becerra cited laws passed in each state he said discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. In Texas, a recent law allows state workers to avoid putting a child in the care of a gay foster parent. Laws in Alabama and South Dakota allow adoption agencies to turn away same-sex couples. In Kentucky, legislation allows schools to ban gay student organizations, Becerra said.

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Legislation passed by California lawmakers restricts travel for state employees using taxpayer funds if the destination permits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The law empowers the attorney general to make that distinction.

"Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century. I am announcing today that I am adding four states to the list of states where California-funded or sponsored travel will be restricted on account of the discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states," Becerra said. "While the California [Department of Justice] works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That's why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it."

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