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CA to Ban Gov’t Travel to States That ‘Discriminate’ Against Gays

A new bill likely to become law in California bans state-funded travel to states that the California Attorney General decides have laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexualt, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.

New law-to-be AB 1887 passed through the state legislature and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.

The bill forbids “a state agency, department, board, authority, or commission, including an agency, department, board, authority, or commission of the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California, or the California State University, and the Legislature,” from either requiring employees, officers or members from traveling to or approving requests for state-funded or sponsored travel to “a state that, after June 26, 2015, has enacted a law that voids or repeals, or 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, or has enacted a law that authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, including any law that creates an exemption to antidiscrimination laws in order to permit discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

California’s Attorney General will be responsible for developing and maintaining the list of prohibited states and publishing it on the AG’s website.

Some exemptions do apply for travel to states on the list if the travel is required to enforce California laws, including auditing and collecting revenues; litigation; meeting pre-January 2017 contractual obligations; and other reasons as specified in the legislation.

Current Attorney General Kamala Harris, the ACLU of California, and several LGBT groups and government bodies are listed on record in Senate Floor Analysis as supporting the bill, along with the hugely powerful California Teachers Association. Harris is currently campaigning to take up the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

Also listed as supporting the bill are: Equality California (co-source), National Center for Lesbian Rights (co-source), California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, BAYMEC, Berkeley City Council, City of West Hollywood, Consumer Attorneys of California, Courage Campaign, Fiona Ma, State Board of Equalization, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Porterville Democratic Club, Rainbow Chamber of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, Secular Coalition for California and Stonewall Democrats of Tulare County.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 

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