California responds to transgender laws, bans state travel to Florida, 4 other states

California is adding five more states to a list of places where state-funded travel will be banned, Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) announced on Monday. 

The ban is in response to Republican-led measures in states that have passed or are pursuing measures that restrict health care access for transgender individuals or require transgender school students to participate in sports aligned with their sex rather than gender identity. 

The states added to California's ban are Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia, bringing the total of restricted states to 17, the Sacramento Bee reported

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The travel law is known as Assembly Bill 1887. 

“Assembly Bill 1887 is about aligning our dollars with our values,” Bonta said. “Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country — and the State of California is not going to support it.”

In a statement released Tuesday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey blasted his counterpart in California for including West Virginia on the list of states to which travel will be banned.

“States should not penalize other states because of policy differences,” Morrisey said. “The economic coercion demonstrated by California is an affront to the dignity of other co-sovereign states and amounts to legislating across state borders in an effort to force the radical world view of large states onto those living elsewhere."

Federalism works best, Morrisey argued, when individual states can pursue policies supported by their own constituents.

"And in West Virginia our office will defend the state’s efforts to protect the integrity of women’s sports," he added. "Title IX opened many opportunities for girls and women across the Mountain State and beyond. This legislation preserves fair competition. It is simply wrong for other states to exert financial pressure in such a manner."

Assemblyman Evan Low (D), who wrote the law, said the symbolism behind the law is important. 
 
“It’s important for our state to send a strong message that we will not endorse any type of discrimination of any kind, whether it be based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression,” Low said
 
The University of California, the board of regents of the University of California and California State University are all subject to the travel law, the Bee reported, which goes into effect for the new states this summer. 
 
The newspaper noted states that were already included in California's travel ban are Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
 
Updated 12:30 p.m.