California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is a Democrat, has added four more states to the travel ban. Soon, state employees will not be able to take business trips to four additional states because Becerra believes the states have backwards laws regarding LGBT people. The newly-offensive states include: Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, and South Dakota. The already-banned states include 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 according to The Hill. “That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.” What "discriminatory laws" is the California Democrat upset over? Well, let's take a look at Alabama:
In Alabama's case, it was the passage of a law allowing adoption agencies in the state to follow faith-based policies, including the option to not place children with gay couples. In signing the law, Gov. Kay Ivey said it "ensures hundreds of children can continue to find 'forever homes' through religiously-affiliated adoption agencies. "This bill is not about discrimination, but instead protects the ability of religious agencies to place vulnerable children in a permanent home," the governor said.
While it's uncertain what this will mean economically for these states, some people wonder what it will mean for football.
The University of Alabama has Fresno State - technically known as California State University - Fresno - on its football schedule this year for a Sept. 9 home game in Tuscaloosa. A Fresno State spokesman on Friday confirmed that the Bulldogs' game with Alabama won't be affected.
According to Fresno State's website, employee travel to the states first added to the ban (North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee) will not be reimbursed unless it meets one of several exemptions. Travel to the recently announced states is not yet addressed on the site. Among the exemptions is travel related to contracts signed before Jan. 1, 2017. Fresno inked its deal to play Alabama in 2015, according to reports.
Claire Dean, a spokesperson for the University of California system, said if a university's athletic team committed to participate in an event before Jan. 1, 2017, "then it's permissible to use state funds. However, if a contract was entered on or after that, then state funds cannot be used for travel."
A request for a legal opinion on whether public university sports' travel is exempted from the restrictions has been filed with Becerra's office but no ruling has been issued, according to reports. Other California universities have pulled out of plans to play teams in states covered by the travel ban.
Since the ban is supposed to be in effect until the southern states change their laws, it seems like we'll have many years to work this out. In the meantime, it seems that Texas, with its booming economy, won't miss the California visitors' condescending liberal smugness.
Image Credit: MaxPixel