Saturday, June 24, 2017

California Love (Not Hate)

California has had a state travel and business ban in place for four states over LGBT discrimination.  Now the sixth-largest economy on earth will no longer do business with four more states, including Texas and here in Kentucky.

Decrying a “scourge of discrimination” against LGBT individuals in four states, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday doubled the number of states subject to California’s state-sponsored travel ban.

Speaking in San Francisco, Becerra increased the number of states that California state employees cannot travel to on official government business from four to eight.

The four additions — Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas — each passed state legislation that took effect starting in March that Becerra alleged discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families.

“The state of California is not going to participate in discriminatory conduct by other states,” Becerra said.

The states join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee on California’s list of banned states. The first four were put in place by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Thursday marked Becerra’s first action on the matter since he took office, and he blamed the delayed rollout on the complications of analyzing four separate pieces of state legislation.

Under a California law that took effect in January, there are a number of exemptions to the ban on travel. The restrictions do apply to the University of California and other state schools.

But the attorney general’s office would not say whether the rules would prevent an athletic team — the California Golden Bears, for example — from playing an away game at one of the affected states. A representative said the office was reviewing the matter.

Asked about the consequences for California in refusing to do business with those states — especially Texas, which boasts the second-largest economy in the United States behind only California — Becerra paused.

“Texas is a big state,” he said, but “the consequences are real” for LGBT people in Texas and elsewhere.

He said he would not rule out adding more states.

California refusing to do business with Texas is a big, big story.  California's GDP is over two trillion yearly, Texas is just under that number.  If that ban does include college sports, well, that's going to be a major issue, especially here in Kentucky.

But there's consequences for codifying into law that LGBT citizens are second-class and can be discriminated against in every way in the name of "religious liberty".  I'm really hoping Eric Schneiderman and New York follow suit soon, especially in regards to Texas.  States no longer having access to Wall Street or Silicon Valley investments just might make them think twice.

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