California restricts state travel to Texas, other states over LGBT laws

California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraCalifornia attorney general on secession: State is 'economic engine' of US Sunday shows preview: GOP moves toward tax reform The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D) will bar state employees from business trips to four states after those states passed measures limiting the rights of LGBT people.

The new restrictions prohibit state-funded or state-sponsored travel to Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota, Becerra said Thursday. 

State legislators in Texas, Alabama and South Dakota this year passed new laws allowing adoption or foster parent agencies to refuse service to LGBT families. A new Kentucky law would allow student organizations at state schools to block LBGT people from membership.

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California’s Democrat-dominated legislature passed a measure last year barring state-funded travel to states that allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Already, the law has blocked employee travel to four other states — Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.

“While the California [Department of Justice] 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 in a statement. “That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”

The California law still allows some employees to travel to states on the banned list, for special exempted purposes like collecting tax revenue, engaging in litigation or to complete on-the-job training. It also allows employees who must appear in a banned state to participate in meetings or training to obtain grant funding.

Becerra, appointed to fill the vacancy left behind when Sen. Kamala Harris (D) quit the attorney general’s office in January, is seeking election in 2018. He faces state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D), the only other announced candidate.