The California Attorney General added Texas to the State’s travel ban over the passage of a new law allowing child welfare organizations to deny services and adoptions based upon religious beliefs. The California AG claims Texas, along with Alabama, Kentucky, and South Dakota, have recently passed laws “that are discriminatory toward sexual orientation and gender identification.”
“Each of those states in the recent weeks have enacted legislation that may deprive some of the individuals of those states and individuals who visit those states of their constitutional rights,” California AG Xavier Becerra told reporters during a news conference in San Francisco. The AG acted to expand a law passed by the California Assembly in 2016 banning state-funded travel to North Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, Tennessee, and “other states that have laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Bacerra added Texas to the list because of a law signed recently by Texas Governor Greg Abbott that allows child welfare groups to deny services and adoptions to families because of “Sincerely held religious beliefs,” the Sacramento Bee reported. The AG’s office said he believes that allows these groups to discriminate against LGBT families.
“There are consequences to discrimination,” Becerra stated. “Restricting state-sponsored travel is a consequence.”
The consequences apparently do not apply to China, a country that continues is openly hostile to gay rights. Breitbart News reported that Governor Jerry Brown traveled to China earlier this month to “play president” in signing a climate deal with the communist nation.
The Sacramento newspaper reported the ban may be more bluster than impactful. “The state law contains exemptions for some trips, such as travel needed to enforce California law and to honor contracts made before 2017,” the newspaper reported. Bacerra’s office could not provide them with any numbers about how often state employees traveled to the affected states.
The bill, HB 3859, authored by Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls), passed the House and Senate and Governor Abbott signed it into law on June 15. Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz responded to the signing stating, “The signing into law of the Freedom to Serve Children Act (HB 3859) is a major victory for children and for religious liberty in Texas. Faith-based providers across Texas are now free to recruit foster families and place children with loving families.”
During the recently completed regular session of the Texas Legislature, State Representative Dustin Burrows filed an amendment to a bill aimed at pre-emptively responding to such an action from the left-coast state.
Burrows reacted to the action by the California AG with a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. His response states:
Today, the California Legislature prohibited the expenditure of its state funds for state employee travel to Texas because of our morals and ethics. Months ago, I offered an amendment to the Texas state budget to counter this type of nonsense — my amendment would have reciprocated if another state did this very thing. Texans are the most inclusive, welcoming people in the world — what Texans will not do is allow another state to determine our policy and culture.
Governor Abbott’ spokesman John Wittman responded to Breitbart Texas stating, “California may be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas”