California enacts travel ban to Alabama, citing LGBTQ discrimination

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Alabama is off-limits for state-funded visits from California, one of four states facing a travel ban because of recent “discriminatory legislation” affecting the LGBTQ community.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday he is adding Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas to Assembly Bill AB 1887. Each state passed “discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people” in 2017.

Enacted Jan. 1, 2017, AB 1887 prohibits state-sponsored or state-funded visits from California “state agencies, departments, boards, authorities and commissions, including an agency, department, board, authority, or commission of the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California, and the California State University.”

“Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights,” Becerra said. “Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century.”

The four states join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.

“While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back,” Becerra said. “That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”

Becerra specified the reason each state made the list:

Alabama: HB 24 was enacted May 2, 2017. HB 24 could prevent qualified prospective lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents from adopting or serving as foster parents.

Kentucky: SB 17 was enacted March 16, 2017. SB 17 could allow student-run organizations in colleges and K-12 schools to discriminate against classmates based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

South Dakota: SB 149 was enacted March 10, 2017. SB 149 could prevent qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples from adopting or serving as foster parents.

Texas: HB 3859 was enacted June 15, 2017. HB 3859, allows foster care agencies to discriminate against children in foster care and potentially disqualify lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families from the state’s foster and adoption system.

Despite the travel ban, the Sept. 9 Tuscaloosa home game of University of Alabama against Fresno State — officially known as California State University — Fresno — will go on as planned. In June 2015, Alabama agreed to pay Fresno State $1.4 million in a deal to play in Tuscaloosa.

A Fresno State spokesman told AL.com Friday that the Bulldogs’ game with Alabama will not be impacted. AB 1887 exempts travel on contractual obligations made before Jan. 1, the date the bill was enacted.

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