California restricts state travel to Texas, other states over LGBT laws

Mayor Greg Fischer | Courtesy of Metro Government

Mayor Greg Fischer | Courtesy of Metro Government

A new California law could end up causing a headache for the sports teams for public universities in the state.

The attorney general of California has added Kentucky to a list of destinations banned from official state travel, saying a new religious expression law passed by the Kentucky General Assembly is discriminatory.

There will be plenty of whining from the Left Coast when the weekly Associated Press Top 25 comes out in football and basketball and no California teams are listed because they have not played any of the best teams in the country that are sure to be located in one of the eight states where travel is banned.

California lawmakers passed a bill in a fit of pique a year ago prohibiting government-funded trips to states the California attorney general deems discriminatory against LGBT people. These travel bans are more likely to inflame cross-state tensions even further, especially if even more states are added to the California list. Individual travel is still permitted by California residents but not on the taxpayer's dime.

Is the California law flawless? No. This was hardly on a whim.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra acknowledged Mayor Gray's statement that Lexington has been working to be an open and welcoming place.

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"Unfortunately, it seems that California has become like many college campuses across the country", said Rep.

This is as hysterical as it is ridiculous.

This new order could have a major symbolic impact-for example, by making it hard or impossible for University of California sports teams to compete against the University of Texas. Do you believe that from a politician?

Opponents have criticized the new law for language that protects religious and political student groups from being punished for how they select their members. Kentucky was hit because its "Charlie Brown law" prevents school officials from punishing children from demonstrating their religious or political beliefs in homework, artwork, and speeches.

While the merits of the California travel ban on state-funded travel to Kentucky continue to be debated it's clear that there are two schools of thought.

The Lone Star State now joins North Carolina and MS on the central coast county's prohibited travel list. Tennessee allows therapists to deny treatment to LGBT patients because of religious beliefs. It will be interesting to see what the Supreme Court has to say about it, and whether California will try to ban justices that dare to side with the likes of Jack Phillips.

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"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", wrote Wittman.

Senate Bill 17 was signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin this spring.

Becerra's spokesman has not given an example of travel that would be blocked, and no information has been provided about how often state employees have visited the newly banned states. It's saddening that we're technically upholding prejudicial legislation, but all states need to work on encouraging citizens to be who they are and go where they want to go. Todd Gardenhire, Mike Carter, Patsy Hazlewood and Gerald McCormick were among those who voted for the resolution, while Bo Watson refused to be party to it, voting "present".

Some Texas Republicans, including Rep. Dustin Burrows, are already urging the state to retaliate next month during the Legislature's special session, the newspaper reported.

As a very wise man once said, "Don't hide your flaws while looking for mine".

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