California bans state-funded travel to five more states over LGBTQ bills

June 29 (UPI) -- California has banned state-funded travel to another five states over their passing of laws it says targets the LGBTQ community.

The Democratic-led state added Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia to its growing list of 17 states that California will not fund agencies and employees to travel to in response to them passing legislation in the past few months the California government describes as discriminatory.


The states were banned under a law that was enacted in 2016 to prohibit state agencies from sending employees on tax-funded trips to states its says have repealed, voided or enacted laws to allow for discrimination on the basis of one's sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

"When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, California law requires our office to take action," Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement announcing the bans on Monday. "These new additions to the state-funded travel restrictions list are about exactly that."

LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and those who identify themselves as queer or questioning.

The bans were announced amid a push by Republican-led states to enact such legislation that affect adults and minors of this minority community.

Human Rights Campaign has said this year is the "worst for anti-LGBTQ legislation in history."

The record of 15 such bills enacted in 2015 was broken in early May with more than 250 similar bills having been introduced in state legislatures this year, it said.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also tallied dozens of such bills proposed in dozens of states concerning healthcare for transgender youth and athletics for transgender youth athletes, among others.

"As we celebrate Pride 2021 here in California, other states are launching dangerous attacks on the LGBTQ community," California State Assemblyman Evan Low said via Twitter. "We cannot stay silent in the face of these discriminatory state laws by funding travel with CA taxpayer $."

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