California Bans State-Funded Travel to Several States Over Their Anti-LGBTQ laws

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Pride March in San Jose, California. Getty Images

Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia are the states included in California's new travel ban.

California said it is now “aligning [its] dollars with our values” after banning state-funded travel to states with "discriminatory" LGBTQ laws, State Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday.

Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia are now states that are banned because they are "directly work[ing] to ban transgender youth from playing sports, block access to life-saving care, or otherwise limit the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community," according the the state attorney general's office.

"It's unfortunate that some politicians would rather demonize trans youth than focus on solving real issues like tackling gun violence, beating back this pandemic and rebuilding our economy," Bonta said at a news conference Monday.

There are exceptions to the new bans, including if the travel is required to maintain grant funding or licensure.

Oklahoma has pushed back in the past about California's previous travel bans. The state has a total of 17 states banned currently. Last year Governor Kevin Stitt issued an executive order that prohibits state employees from "all non-essential travel" to California after it was added to California’s list.

"California and its elected officials over the past few years have banned travel to the State of Oklahoma in an effort to politically threaten and intimidate Oklahomans for their personal values. Enough is enough," Stitt said previously.

California’s new ban is being celebrated by LGBTQ advocates, and the state doesn't seem to have plans on backing down.

"Make no mistake: We're in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country," Bonta said Monday. "And the state of California is not going to support it."

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