By JOSH FRIEDMAN
In response to a wave of “anti-LGBTQ+ legislation” across the country, California now bans state-funded travel to 22 U.S. states, including the one in which Gov. Gavin Newsom recently vacationed. [New York Times]
California’s ban on state-funded travel emerged following the 2016 adoption of a North Carolina law that restricted access to single-gender bathrooms to only people of the corresponding sex, as determined by one’s birth certificate. The California Legislature responded to the North Carolina law with the adoption of AB 1887.
AB 1887 prohibits California state agencies from authorizing state-funded travel to states that have enacted legislation enabling discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. California adopted AB 1887 in order to “avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
When enacted, AB 1887 applied to four states. Six years later, the ban has widened considerably, and the list of states to which California employees cannot travel on the state’s dime has grown to 22.
Recently, pushback against the law has grown, particularly following Gov. Newsom’s vacation in Montana earlier this month. Montana is on California’s travel ban list.
Newsom’s office says the governor’s travel to Montana was not paid for by the state, and that his state-funded security detail does not violate AB 1887. Critics accused Newsom of hypocrisy for railing against Republican-led states’ conservative policies and then vacationing in one of the states on the travel ban list.