Is CA right to ban state-funded travel to states not supporting LGBTQ?
- On Monday, June 28, 2021, California Attorney General, Rob Bonta, announced five additional states to be joined with the ongoing list of state-funded travel bans because of LGBTQ discrimination. Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia joined the list of 12 states.
- The 17 states have various laws preventing LGBTQ minors and adults from access to healthcare and organization funding.
- Pride Month is celebrated every June to raise awareness and support for the individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. On June 28, 1970, the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising was honored as the marker for change for LBGTQ persons.
- As of February 24, 2021, a Gallup report estimates 5.6% of adults in the United States identify as LGBTQ.
- On the first of the month, President Biden issued a statement in support of the movement calling out “nearly 14 percent” of his 1,500 agency appointees as LGBTQ. He stated, “We will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.”
LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, and the State of California is justified in standing up for them. There is nothing more fundamental than equality amongst all people, and the states that California has banned state-funded travel to are actively working to diminish it.
As California's Attorney General, Rob Bonta, pointed out, 'aligning our dollars with our values' is important. Simply speaking out against injustice is not enough. To affect real change, we must vote with our feet and with our pocketbooks. By taking away the revenue generated from out-of-state visitors and by creating such a high-profile situation, California may pressure these states into reconsidering their discriminatory policies. In addition to not paying for travel to these states, the California bill also 'prohibits the state from requiring employees to travel to a state subject to AB 1887's travel prohibition,' which is an important protection for LGBTQ+ state employees who may be subject to discrimination in these locales.
By setting such a strong example, California is signaling to the many businesses and wealthy individuals within its borders that boycotting states with anti-LGBTQ+ policies is the just and right thing to do. And, in turn, this could have a profound effect if those in the powerful tech and entertainment industries follow suit.
Those opposing the bans will claim that they amount to missed opportunities for state business and educational conferences. While these minor setbacks may be disappointing, they do not compare to the loss and suffering of the LGBTQ+ individuals oppressed in their home states.
California's recent travel restrictions to a select group of states are a politicized effort to further divide the nation. Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta cited 'an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country' as being the driving force behind the state's decision. However, this contradicts the growing social acceptance of homosexuality in the United States. Recent Pew Research surveys indicate that 72% of Americans now accept homosexuality in society, compared to 60% only a few years ago. Further, the United States generally accepts members of the LGBTQ community at a higher rate than most other nations, yet state-funded travel from California to those countries is not prohibited.
The assertion that certain states are passing 'anti-trans' laws mainly refers to the bans that have been placed on transgender athletes participating in girls' and women's sports. Politicians and media outlets fail to recognize that these laws arose out of a legitimate concern for the sustainability of female sports, as allowing transgender athletes to participate in women's competitions leads to undeserved dominance. Conclusively, these 'anti-trans' laws do not resemble 'unprecedented bigotry' but rather a resounding loyalty to protecting youth athletes.
Additionally, instead of focusing on perceived problems in other states, California should look inward and try to solve its own challenges, as evidenced by the droves of people leaving the state in the 'Great California Exodus.'
Unfortunately, Californian policies continue to serve as nothing more than adding more fuel to the fire continuing to burn the fabric of unity that should be the United States of America. This travel ban immorally exploits the vulnerability of the LGBTQ community to create destructive lies that aid in the gradual division of American society.