California bans state-funded travel to Idaho over recent transgender legislation

Posted 39 days ago


California is banning state-funded travel to Idaho in response to two Gem State laws the California attorney general claims discriminate against members of the transgender community.

Earlier this year, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed House Bills 500 and 509. Respectively, the bills ban intersex and transgender women and girls from participating in female sports at public schools, colleges and universities and prohibit transgender people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates. Both bills were quickly challenged in federal court.

These bills triggered a California state law prohibiting taxpayer-funded travel to states with “discriminatory” practices, the California attorney general announced Monday. This includes California state agencies, departments, boards, authorities, commissions, the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California, and California State University, according to the legislation.

“Where states legislate discrimination, California unambiguously speaks out,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a Monday press release. “The State of Idaho has taken drastic steps to undermine the rights of the transgender community, preventing people from playing sports in school or having documentation that reflects their identity.”

Assembly Bill 1887, first passed by the California State Assembly in 2016, bans state-funded travel to any state that passes a law authorizing “discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression,” or repeals existing state or local protections against such discrimination. The legislation allows for limited travel under certain exceptions, including the enforcement of California law, the protection of health and safety, requirements for licensing or grant funding and contractual obligations incurred before Jan. 1, 2017.

It’s unclear how this would affect athletic competitions between California and Idaho schools. Some California schools have opted to use private funds to pay for teams to travel to states on the banned list. San Diego State University did this in 2018 to pay for travel to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Wichita, Kansas, the Wichita Eagle reported.

“Let’s not beat around the bush: These laws are plain and simple discrimination,” Becerra said. “That’s why Idaho joins the list of AB 1887 discriminating states.”

In an email statement to the Idaho Statesman, Idaho’s governor pushed back.

“I do not believe that protecting the... (Read more)