Saturday, September 23, 2023

Governor Newsom Signs Bill Replacing California State Travel Ban on LGBTQ Laws with Outreach Funding


Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that effectively ends California’s travel ban to more than half of the US states because of LGBTQ laws and replaced it with a plan to fund outreach and encourage acceptance of that community.

State Senator Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, the powerful San Diego Democrat who authored the bill, announced the governor’s signature Wednesday afternoon with a photo of Newsom signing the law behind the Capitol’s golden bear statue. The legislature passed the law as an emergency measure and it took effect immediately.

“California stands firm against anti-LGBTQ+ hate!” Atkins’ social media post read, adding that his bill, SB 447, “creates Project BRIDGE, a campaign to open hearts and minds, promote inclusion and support LGBTQ+ communities in whole country. !”

Newsom in a statement thanked Atkins for “this important step that allows California to continue to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people across the country and fight bigotry and hatred with empathy and alliance.”

“In the face of a rising tide of anti-LGBTQ+ hate, this move will help California’s message of acceptance, equality and hope reach the places where it’s needed most,” Newsom said.

The California state travel ban was signed into law in 2016, AB 1887, by Assemblyman Evan Low, a Cupertino Democrat who is gay. The law prevents state agencies, departments, boards and commissions from state-funded travel to states that have adopted what California considers discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

Atkins, who is gay, said that while the law originally banned travel to four states, the number has since increased to more than half the country. In July, Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that his office would add three more states (Missouri, Nebraska and Wyoming) to the list, bringing the list to 26.

The laws in question that led California to expand the travel ban were primarily about transgender people’s access to school bathrooms, participation in youth sports, and hormonal and contraceptive methods. -opera that “affirms the gender” of children, an issue that disrupts school boards, health. nursing, and athletics. in recent years. Supporters of those laws argue that the policies protect the rights of women and men, while critics call them anti-LGBTQ.

Atkins said the travel ban is back.

“For years, the travel ban has had the unintended effect of further isolating members of the state’s LGBTQ+ community and making it more difficult for Californians to conduct research, trade, and socialize. -with all the states. states “, Atkins. he said in a statement.

“With the introduction of an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures across the country, California will further position itself as a national leader in inclusion and serve as a light of hope and support for those who are isolated from the state sponsored. discrimination elsewhere. Atkins said.

The travel ban has become a political liability for Newsom, who was criticized last year for traveling to one of the banned states, Montana, to visit his wife’s family. Newsom’s office said at the time that such privately paid and personal trips were not considered state-sponsored or funded under AB 1887, but declined to say whether California paid for security personnel to accompany him. .

Low defended AB 1887, arguing that its repeal would amount to rolling back what he called a record amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

“While lifting our state-funded travel ban to these states does not protect Californians from potential harm,” Low said in a statement Thursday, “I hope the BRIDGE project help change the hearts and minds of states that persecute and enforce anti-LGBTQ laws.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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