California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Monday that five more states would join California’s state-funded travel restriction list. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia join 12 other states on the list.
Bonta explained that the five new states were added due to lawmakers’ recent passage of anti-LGBTQ laws.
“When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, California law requires our office to take action. These new additions to the state-funded travel restrictions list are about exactly that,” Bonta said in a statement.
The law that Bonta referenced is known as AB 1887, which bars state-funded travel to other states that enact a law that voids or repeals “existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” among other anti-LGBTQ restrictions.
Bonta cited three laws in Arkansas that earned the state a spot on the restriction list, including the first law in the country that “prohibits physicians from providing gender-affirming healthcare to transgender minors.” The California state-funded travel ban against Arkansas takes effect on July 29.
Florida, Montana and West Virginia made the list after all three states enacted laws that ban transgender women and girls from playing sports consistent with their gender identities. Florida and Montana will be added to the list on July 1, while West Virginia will be placed on the list July 8.
North Dakota was added to the restriction list due to a law applying to universities in the state that allows “certain publicly-funded student organizations to openly discriminate against LGBTQ+ students by restricting participation in those organizations,” Bonta said. The state will be added to California’s state-funded travel restriction list on August 1.
“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,” Bonta said in a statement.