In a rebuke of state governments that have passed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, California officials announced that they will add five states to the list of places where state-funded travel is prohibited on account of discriminatory policies, according to CBS News San Francisco.
Adopted in 2016, California’s Assembly Bill 1887 requires state lawmakers to act on behalf of LGBTQ+ residents who have faced discrimination, and bars state employees from traveling on government-funded trips to any of the now 17 banned states. Beyond the most recent addition of Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia, the list includes: Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.
“When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, California law requires our office to take action,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country — and the State of California is not going to support it.”
Among legislation recently introduced by those new states are measures that significantly hinder the rights of LGBTQ+ community members.
Florida, Montana, Arkansas, and West Virginia approved legislation preventing transgender middle and high schoolers from playing school sports in accordance with their gender identity. Further, North Dakota passed a bill allowing select state-subsidized student groups to retain funding despite their exclusion of LGBTQ+ members, and Arkansas enacted the first-ever law to forbid doctors from offering gender-affirming healthcare to transgender youth, even if a physician determines the care to be a medical necessity, according to NPR.
Speaking on the 52nd anniversary of the start of the Stonewall riots, Attorney General Bonta admonished lawmakers who “would rather demonize trans youth than focus on solving real issues like tackling gun violence, beating back this pandemic, and rebuilding our economy.”