California bill would ban public funds being spent on travel to anti-LGBT states
A proposed bill in the US state of California would stop public money from being spent on travel to states with anti-LGBT laws.
The bill, proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low, would stop government funds from being used by state employees to travel to any state with a law used to discriminate against LGBT people.
Often veiled under the term “religious freedom”, opponents of these laws, proposed in many states and passed in some, they are unnecessary as religious freedom is a right as protected under the US Constitution.
Low told the Sacramento Bee: “No one wants to send employees into an environment where they would be uncomfortable.”
The bill would only affect administrative travel.
It is the first of its kind, and comes as South Dakota’s Republican Governor vetoed a bill earlier this month, which would have stopped transgender students using gender-appropriate bathrooms.
Last year, Indiana was the first state to pass a ‘religious freedom’ bill and was heavily criticised for doing so.
Temporary travel bans were brought in by the Democratic governors of New York, Washington and Connecticut.
A revised version of the Indiana bill was later signed by Governor Mike Pence, which specifically banned anti-LGBT discrimination.
At that point, the temporary travel bans were lifted.
Low’s bill will be heard next month.
If passed, it would restrict travel to 21 states including Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.
The Human Rights Campaign noted earlier this year that there were 150 bills across the US which would be harmful to LGBT people if passed.