By Katy Murphy
California has its own travel ban. The new law took effect in January, banning state employees and officials from using tax money to go to states with laws it deemed discriminatory in regards to gender identity or sexual orientation -- starting with Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.
On Thursday, Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that the list had doubled. It now includes Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas.
"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 in a news release. "Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st Century.
Three of the four new states recently moved to protect faith-based adoption or foster agencies who refuse to place children with certain families, such as same-sex couples. Another protects religious expression in schools, including provisions on student organizations that LGBT advocates argue could allow clubs to shun prospective members based on their gender identity.
Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, leads the California Legislative LGBT Caucus and wrote Assembly Bill 1887, which created the ban. He applauded Becerra's decision.
"AB 1887 was enacted to ensure our taxpayer dollars do not fund bigotry or hatred," he said. "Attorney General Xavier Becerra's action today sends a strong message that discrimination beyond our borders will not be tolerated."
States added to California's travel ban, and the new laws that put them on the list
ALABAMA: HB 24 allows state-funded, faith-based adoption and foster agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
KENTUCKY: SB 17, a bill to protect religious expression in schools, would make it harder for school officials to regulate how student organizations select their members, which LGBT advocates argue will foster discrimination.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Like Alabama's new law, SB 149 gives legal protection to adoption and foster agencies who refuse to place children in homes with same-sex couples.
TEXAS: HB 3859 also allows faith-based foster and adoption agencies, including those that are state-funded, to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
(c)2017 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)