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California AG bans state travel to Texas, 3 other states

23 Juin 2017

California is restricting publicly funded travel to four more states because of recent laws that leaders here view as discriminatory against gay and transgender people.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday added Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and Kentucky to the list of places where state employee travel is restricted. SB 17 could allow student-run organizations in colleges and K-12 schools to discriminate against classmates based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The states join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee on California's list of banned states. "That's why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it".

California's Legislature a year ago voted to restrict state-funded travel to states with laws that allow businesses to deny services gay and transgender people.

When asked whether California would cease to do business with states like Texas, the second largest state economy in the U.S. behind Becerra's state, he said: "Texas is a big state..."

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Texas: HB 3859 was enacted on June 15, 2017. Law enforcement, tax auditors and collectors and anyone who needs to travel to the effected states to appear before a federal committee are exempt from the ban.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this month signed a law that allows child welfare providers to deny services because of "sincerely held religious beliefs", a provision that critics interpreted as permitting adoption agencies to deny services to gay families. "While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back", he said.

Fresno State, a public California university, is scheduled to play football against the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa this fall. KSFY News Reporter Bridget Bennett visited San Francisco in March and spoke to California State Senator Scott Wiener.

This article was released by the California Attorney General's Office.

Speaking with Becerra, Ashley Morris, the ACLU of Northern California's organizing director, acknowledged the right to religious freedom as an important constitutional protection.