California bans state-funded travel to eighth state over anti-LGBT laws
California will prohibit state-funded travel to Oklahoma over legislation that discriminates against LGBT people wanting to adopt a child.
California has already banned state-sponsored travel to seven other states: Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Alabama.
The latest ban is in response to a new Oklahoma law that allows adoption agencies to refuse to place children in homes with same-sex parents based on moral or religious grounds, reports San Francisco Chronicle.
The Oklahoma ban will come into effect on June 22.
Attorney general Xavier Becerra told the newspaper: “California taxpayers are taking a stand against bigotry. California will not use state resources to support states that pass discriminatory laws.
“Our taxpayer dollars do not fund bigotry,” Becerra added. “No exceptions.”
A law passed in California last year bars state-funded travel to states with legislation that discriminates against people as a result of their sexual or gender orientation.
According to Sandy Price, vice president of tourism sales at the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, it is too soon to tell if there will be an impact on people travelling to the state.
“I’ve not seen an effect,” Price told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’d hate for there to be a downturn because of this.”
In June 2017, California announced a ban on state-funded travel to four states – Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas – having already prohibited state-sponsored travel to Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee in January.
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When asked whether California would cease to do business with states like Texas, the second largest state economy in the US behind Becerra’s state, Becerra responded at the time: “Texas is a big state… [but] the consequences are real” for LGBT people in Texas and elsewhere.
He added that he would not rule out adding more states to the list if they introduce discriminatory legislation.
Becerra also announced last year that California would keep North Carolina on its list of banned states, despite a partial repeal of discriminatory bathroom bill HB2.
Following the deal to partially repeal HB2, mayors of several major cities reiterated travel bans and condemned the replacement bill.