SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s attorney general is blocking state-funded travel to Texas and three other states in response to what he considers anti-LGBT rights laws enacted this year.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday added Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and Kentucky to the list of places where state employee travel is restricted. Lawmakers passed legislation last year banning non-essential travel to states with laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee are already on the list.
California taxpayers’ money “will not be used to let people travel to states who chose to discriminate,” Becerra said.
Texas was added to the list because of a law that lets child welfare organizations deny services and adoptions to families because of “sincerely held religious beliefs” that Becerra’s office says would allow LGBT discrimination. Similar laws were enacted in Alabama and South Dakota. Kentucky’s new law could allow LGBT discrimination in schools, according to Becerra’s office.
“California may be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas,” said John Wittman, a spokesman for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
California’s ban on state employee travel to states the attorney general says allow LGBT discrimination, which took effect this year, contains exceptions for some trips, including ones to enforce California law and to honor contracts made before 2017.
Becerra’s office didn’t know often state employees currently visit the banned states.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.