‘These bans are not popular’: California restricts state-funded travel to Florida over transgender sports law

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA/AP) — California added five more states, including Florida, to the list of places where state-funded travel is banned because of laws that discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community, the state attorney general announced Monday.

Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta added Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia to the list that now has 17 states where state employee travel is forbidden except under limited circumstances.

“The states are a part of a recent dangerous wave of discriminatory new bills signed into law in states all across the country,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

This comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently passed a law banning transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

“These bans are not popular. The LGBTQ+ community is our family, our friends, our allies, a part of our community,” Michael Womack from Equality Florida said. “At the end of the day, there is going to be pushback and there is going to be a reaction.”

The state-funded travel restriction applies to trips paid for by the state of California for employees. The state law has exemptions for some trips, such as travel needed to enforce California law and to honor contracts signed before the states were added to the list. Travel to conferences or out-of-state training are examples of trips that can be blocked.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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