California’s Democrats have now banned state-funded travel to so many states in protest at their legislation on social issues that the bans now cover one-third of the United States by population, after a new ban on Ohio was introduced last month.
The Sacramento Bee noted Monday:
California Democrats wanted to send a message when they passed a law five years ago banning taxpayer-funded travel to states that allow businesses to deny services to gay and transgender people.
California leaders took a stand, but they didn’t discourage Republican states from adopting those so-called religious freedom laws.
Since then, California has banned state-funded travel to 18 states, with a total population of 117 million people. That’s a little more than a third of the nation’s overall population.
The latest addition came in late September, when Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a ban on state-funded travel to Ohio over a new state law that lets doctors cite their moral or religious beliefs in denying care to a patient.
The Bee notes that it is impossible to drive cross-country without passing through at least one state to which California bans state-funded travel. Moreover, “California prohibits state-funded travel to 18 of the 25 states where most voters cast ballots for Trump in 2020 – and none of the states that backed Biden.” The law has many exceptions: public college athletic teams, for example, travel to banned states using private money.
California passed a law in 2016 allowing the state’s attorney general to ban official travel to a state deemed to have violated the rights of LGBTQ individuals. The law was a response to a controversy in 2015, when big companies said they would boycott Indiana over a called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
(That law aimed at protecting business owners from being sued by LGBTQ activists for denying services for religious reasons — an aggressive practice that sparked Supreme Court litigation. Indiana later modified the law after then-Gov. Mike Pence asked legislators to amend it.)
While California allows travel to Indiana, the Bee notes that North Carolina is still on California’s banned list, even though it has repealed a controversial 2016 law requiring people to use public bathrooms that conform to their biological sex, rather than their chosen gender. The only Trump-supporting states to which California allows state-funded travel are “Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.