The State of California bans state agency, department, board, commission and employee travel to 10 U.S. states with social policies lawmakers disagree with. Passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017, AB 1887 states, “California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”
The Sacramento Bee reported that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has extended California’s ban on taxpayer-funded trips to the State of South Carolina, saying it allows private faith-based groups to withhold adoption services over moral objections, effectively permitting discrimination against LGBTQ people.
Did the Attorney General address this policy with Governor Gavin Newsom prior to his junket to El Salvador, a country which actively discriminates against LGBTQ people? The country also deals extremely harshly with women, not just banning abortion but vigorously prosecuting it regardless of the female’s age, whether she’s a victim of rape or incest, or to save her life.
Did Attorney General Becerra remind the governor of this state policy?
California State employees received the following memo this week, announcing the addition of South Carolina to the list of banned states:
This memo is to inform you that South Carolina has been added to the list of states to which business travel is restricted. Pursuant to Government Code §11139.8 <https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/ab1887/ab-1887-text.pdf?>, state agencies must restrict travel to states, subject to certain exceptions, that have enacted laws that (1) repeal existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression or (2) authorize or require discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
The Office of the Attorney General is required to maintain a list <https://oag.ca.gov/ab1887> of states that are subject to the law. While there are exceptions available to state agencies, they are narrow. The list of states currently subject to the travel ban are:
* North Carolina
* South Carolina (Effective April 15, 2019)
* South Dakota
El Salvador does not recognize same-sex marriage and civil unions are banned
According to this crowdsourced website tracking LGBT rights by country, unrecognized, same-sex marriage and civil unions are banned; transgender people can change their name but sex changes are illegal; and same-sex adoption is illegal.
- Equaldex – https://www.equaldex.com/region/el-salvador
Reuters reports that LGBT people flee El Salvador due to violence and threats
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are being forced to leave El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to escape ‘epidemic levels of violence’ and threats by criminal gangs and security forces, [Amnesty International] said in a report.”
Human Rights Watch says LGBT rights in El Salvador given a blind eye
“LGBT individuals are targets of homophobic and transphobic violence, including by police and gang members. Since 1994, over 600 have been killed, according to four Salvadoran LGBT rights organizations. El Salvador introduced hate crimes into its penal code in September 2015. To date, no cases have been prosecuted as hate crimes. Human Rights Watch is not aware of any bias-related murders of known LGBT individuals that have resulted in conviction.”
Foreign Policy reports El Salvador is ‘strongest enforcer’ of abortion ban in the world
“Since , more than 150 women have been prosecuted under the country’s harsh law, some as young as 12 years old. Abortion carries a maximum sentence of 12 years, but depending on the stage of the pregnancy, prosecutors can increase the charge to homicide, which carries up to 40 years behind bars.”
Just prior to his trip, Newsom said, “This President is demonizing legal asylum seekers fleeing violence while at the same time putting in place policies that will make the situation for these families worse in their home countries.”
Despite President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of a cut of $500 million in foreign aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, Newsom and his wife made the trip to El Salvador, and while in-country traveled to Panchimalco, a village of 35,000. “During the following round table on human rights, Panchimalco Mayor Mario Meléndez said women have few opportunities in El Salvador but the U.S. can help by investing in women and helping them become entrepreneurs,” NBC Bay Area reported.