California Will No Longer Fund Travel To States That Support Discrimination

California has instituted a ban on state-sponsored or state-funded travel to Mississippi, Kansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.

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This is in response to an 1887 Assembly Bill decreeing “California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.” The bill became effective 1 January 2017 after it was signed into law in September last year.

The bill came about as a result of the discriminatory legislation in North Carolina and was co-authored by Assemblyman Evan Low, who is openly gay and co-sponsored by Equality California. North Carolina caused a major uproar recently with House Bill 2 which, amongst other things, disallows transgender folk from making use of restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

In a recent press release, Low had the following to say: “California has said clearly, our taxpayer dollars will not help fund bigotry and hatred,” adding “If other states try and pass similar laws, we will work to stop them. Our zero-tolerance policy says there is no room for discrimination of any kind in California, and AB 1887 ensures that discrimination will not be tolerated beyond our borders.”

As per the Assembly Bill of 1887, any state that implements legislation to attack the rights of same-sex couples or LBGT families, repeals LGBT protection or discriminates exemptions for these families in existing antidiscriminatory laws, will be included in the states subject to the travel ban. The new governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper is desperately trying to make amends and has promised to repeal HB 2. So far he has not had much success with a failed attempt in December.

In other developments. Bill Haslam recently signed a House Bill 1840 which permits licensed counselors to turn away LGBT people suffering from mental health issues. At the same time, Governor of Mississippi. Phil Bryant signed another House Bill into law no 1523. This permits individuals, businesses and religiously affiliated organizations to deny services to LGBT people, single mothers, and others who somehow offend an individual’s “sincerely held religious belief.”

Speaking to reporters, Low said he felt “disheartened” to see any states included on the list. “Our state has clearly said our taxpayer dollars will not fund bigotry or hatred,” Low said. “If other states try to pass similar laws, we will do everything we can in our power to stop any type of discrimination from happening to Californians. As you know, our zero tolerance policy says there is no room for discrimination of any kind in California and this bill ensures discrimination will not be tolerated of any kind outside our borders.”