California’s ban on taxpayer-funded trips by state employees had included ten U.S. states, including Texas, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Last week Attorney General Xavier Becerra made the ban more inclusive by extending it to Iowa, because it passed a law banning Medicaid spending on transgender surgeries.
California’s travel ban surges from Assembly Bill 1887, which states “California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.” The measure prohibits state-funded travel to a state that has enacted a law that “has the effect of voiding or repealing existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
As Wes Venteicher explains in the Sacramento Bee, supporters say the measure “withholds California taxpayer money from certain states, and keeps public employees out of situations where they might feel uncomfortable.” The law provides exemptions for “law enforcement and tax collection.”
The law also applies to California’s public colleges but as Venteicher notes, “athletic programs have continued to attend games they’ve scheduled and other post-season events in states subject to the ban.” For example, on September 21, the University of California Golden Bears travel to Mississippi, a state on the ban, to play the Ole Miss Rebels. Other exemptions go unenforced or unmentioned.
The Central American nation of El Salvador is hardly on the leading edge of gender legislation and the government’s repressive policies drive Salvadorans to seek asylum in the United States.
Despite these realities, Gavin Newsom became the first California Governor to travel to the region to learn the “root causes of migration” and compensate for foreign aid cuts to the region by the Trump administration.
A one-party dictatorship for decades, Mexico has not been on the cutting edge of human rights. In 2014, 43 Mexican students were kidnapped as they traveled to a protest of the Tlatelolco Massacre of October 2, 1968, when Mexican police and troops gunned down hundreds of unarmed protesters. The worst mass shooting in North American history remains unsolved.
Despite reports that Mexican police were involved in the kidnapping of the 43 students, who are still missing and presumed dead, California Gov. Jerry Brown traveled to Mexico in 2014 to discuss trade and immigration. In 2017, with the state’s travel ban in effect, Gov. Brown traveled to China, a one-party Communist dictatorship, to discuss climate change.
California imposes no ban on people entering the state from any country, no matter how repressive. California’s sanctuary laws protects even violent criminals from deportation, and Under Gov. Newsom, California will use the tax dollars of legitimate citizens and legal immigrants to pay the health care of illegal aliens.
According to a Pew report, six states prohibit government employees from travel to states “with laws that, in their view, discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.” But as the report notes “the money state employees spend on business travel is miniscule compared to what out-of-state fans spend at major sports events.”
California does not mind hosting teams from states on the travel ban. On the day of this writing, September 14, the University of California Golden Bears host the Mean Green from the University of North Texas. Despite high-scoring North Texas quarterback Mason Fine, the Daily Californian likes the Bears’ chances.