Home>Articles>Attorney General Rob Bonta Adds Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming To State Travel Ban

CA Attorney General Rob Bonta. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Attorney General Rob Bonta Adds Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming To State Travel Ban

California’s ban now covers 26 states – more than half of the country

By Evan Symon, July 19, 2023 1:44 pm

Attorney General Rob Bonta announced this week that 3 new states would be added to California’s state travel ban list due to recent laws restricting transgender students from participating in school athletics that are not part of their original gender: Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

Ever since AB 1887 was passed in 2016, California has prohibited state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states with discriminatory LGBT laws on the books. Up until this week, only 23 states have had travel bans enacted. These included Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. The most recent prior travel ban, to Georgia, was instilled in August of last year.

Due to growing concern about fairness in school athletics, especially over how trans students who were born male tend to have an advantage over those born female in athletics due to strength and muscle biology, many states in the past year have passed laws restricting athletics to those originally designated at birth. This included Missouri, which passed two state bills earlier this year concerning the athletics issue, as well as another restricting transgender health care. Specifically, the laws would prohibit “public school districts from allowing transgender individuals to compete in any athletic competition that is consistent with their gender identity” and restrict “gender-affirming health care for transgender youth, including surgeries, puberty blockers or hormones.”

Along with a gender-affirming health care bill in Nebraska and a new law in Wyoming that “prohibits public schools, and private schools competing against public schools, from allowing transgender female students to participate in athletics based on their gender identity,” the three states raised the ire of Bonta and Governor Gavin Newsom in the past several months. As the three found themselves at odds with AB 1887, Bonta announced the ban last week, calling them an example of government overreach and discrimination.

“These new laws enacted by Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming aren’t just discriminatory, they constitute a clear case of government overreach — and it’s an alarming trend we’re witnessing across the country,” said Bonta in a press release. “By preventing transgender individuals from participating in sports aligned with their gender identity, or by denying them access to critical healthcare, these legislative actions directly contradict the values of inclusivity and diversity. These laws pose significant risks for deepening the stigmatization and alienation of LGBTQ+ youth who are already subject to pervasive discrimination, bullying, and hate crimes. In the face of such a gross misuse of public resources, California firmly denounces these laws. As mandated by AB 1887, we are, thus, compelled to impose restrictions on state-funded travel to Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming in response to their discriminatory laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community.”

With now a majority of states under the California travel ban, many experts noted this week that the state is now hurting itself more than what they wanted to do to other states.

“It’s crazy,” explained St. Louis area lawyer Ryan Hilliard, who frequently represents LGBT clients, to the Globe on Wednesday. “California is not helping us with this, and are only hurting themselves. They’ve restricted travel to the majority of states. So they’re hurting opportunities and important governmental meetings over a few laws they don’t agree with. That’s lost growth, lost possible future revenue, and most importantly, lost time to work with other states and to help explain why these states are opting to do this. Rather than try to understand it, or more critically, work with them with the issue, they just give a ‘my way or the highway’ approach and say they’re right without explaining why. It’s baffling.”

MO, NE, WY travel bans

Legal assistant Rita Stark, who has assisted on cases over transgender athletes in the past, also told the Globe that there will be more political affects as well.

“You have a point with Newsom,” explained Stark. “There are now 26 states that he cannot get free rides to while quasi-campaigning and trying to put his face out there. 2028 is in his sights, and many Governors tend to use state travel and functions to help campaign or ‘feel out’ if they have enough support to run.”

“That means Newsom is now high and dry in many states, including swing states like Florida, emerging blue states like Georgia, and others where Newsom could possibly do well in, or at the very least, fundraise a lot of money in. So travel will need to be more out of pocket for him as well as any other state leader looking for a more national office.”

“And Newsom could theoretically do well in some swing states, even some borderline red states. But it will be much harder for him now to really gauge that.”

Hilliard added that “California could have really compromised on this or asked each state what they did and how they expected. A lot of LGBT people are upset with these laws in Missouri, and we are fighting back against them now. You would think that California wants to help, but all they did was, what, shut down state sponsored travel? That’s not helping. I think Bonta is trying to present himself as a friend to the LGBT community, but all this ban did was make everyone mad, including many in the LGBT community here. In a weird way, he made transgender people and Republican lawmakers find common ground, as both see this travel ban as stupid. Bonta and people like him still just see us as flyover states rather than states with complex politics that would like to work with them.”

Due to the dates in which the laws become effective in their respective states, the Nebraska travel ban is to go into effect on October 1st, while the Missouri ban is to go into effect on August 28th. The Wyoming ban is already in place.

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13 thoughts on “Attorney General Rob Bonta Adds Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming To State Travel Ban

  1. Travel Bans are so dumb – it was already proven it has a negative effect on CA.

    At this point, Democrats must do this to show their power and control over public workers

  2. Those 26 states should be thankful that California politicians and bureaucrats won’t be visiting their states and polluting them with radical leftist ideology? No doubt greaseball Gavin Newsom will ignore any bans like he has in the past since laws don’t apply to him?

    1. Would it be a surprise if providers of “gender-affirming health care” were paying off Democrat politicians to push the trans mutilating agenda? No doubt an ethically challenged Democrat like DA Rob Bonta would look the other way if payoffs were being made?

  3. Are there not more serious (real) problems that the AG should be addressing like crime in California? He should quit concerning himself with what goes on in other states and what they do which does not concern us. But what do you expect from social justice warriors!

  4. I would bet that the governors of these states just added are writing thank you notes to Bonta for keeping the lunatics in the looney state. If I were governor I would be writing him one!

  5. This horse’s ass will soon be “promoted” up to a new position in the Democratic machine!
    Bet on it.

    1. AG Bonta’s latest is so SILLY and mock-able. He needs a job. Apparently he has too much time on his hands.

  6. As someone who facilitates out of state travel for state employees, I can tell you the travel bans are mostly performance art. It is super-easy to secure an exemption to the ban. The criteria for the exemptions are basically the same as the criteria for getting travel out of state approved in the first place. The main purpose this achieves is to make California look ridiculous. We now disapprove of more than half the states in the country so we’ll pretend not to send them business.

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