On July 14, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that California will restrict state-funded travel to Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming as a result of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that was recently enacted in each state.
“The recent passage of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is part of a concerning trend of discriminatory practices in states across the country, aiming to roll back hard-won protections. Many of these laws specifically target and marginalize transgender youth by preventing them from participating in sports in accordance with their gender identity, as well as restricting access to critical gender-affirming healthcare services,” the office of Attorney General Bonta stated in their press release.
The travel restrictions announced today are mandated by California Assembly Bill 1887 (AB 1887), which requires the Attorney General to post on his website a current list of states that are subject to the law.
“These new laws enacted by Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming aren’t just discriminatory, they constitute a clear case of government overreach — and it’s an alarming trend we’re witnessing across the country,” said Attorney General Bonta. “By preventing transgender individuals from participating in sports aligned with their gender identity, or by denying them access to critical healthcare, these legislative actions directly contradict the values of inclusivity and diversity.”
AB 1887 prohibits the state from requiring employees to travel to a state subject to AB 1887’s travel prohibition. In addition, the law prohibits California from approving a request for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to such a state. However, the law does not apply to any personal travel of a state employee or private individuals.
Information regarding the reasons and timeline for each new state’s inclusion on the AB 1887 list is as follows:
Missouri was added to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list as a result of its new law, SB 39 which was signed into law on June 7, 2023, by Governor Michael Parson. The law prohibits public school districts, including charter schools, and public and private colleges and universities, from allowing transgender girls to compete in an athletic competition consistent with their gender identity. SB 39 requires withholding of all state funding for non-compliance. Additionally, SB 49 was also signed into law, restricting gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. Missouri will be added to the travel restricted list when these new laws become effective on August 28, 2023.
Nebraska was added to the state-funded travel restricted list as a result of Legislative Bill No. 574 (LB 574), “Let Them Grow Act,” which was signed into law on May 22, 2023, by Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen. LB 574 makes it a departure from the medical standard of care to provide gender-affirming care for someone who is 19 years old or younger except subject to rigorous criteria in regulations to be developed by the state’s Chief Medical Officer. It subjects healthcare practitioners to liability, including attorneys’ fees, for providing such care and denies state funding to any entity not in compliance. Nebraska will be added to California’s travel restricted list when the law becomes effective on October 1, 2023.
Wyoming was added to the state-funded travel restricted list as a result of Senate File No. 133 (SF 133), which became law on March 17, 2023, without the Governor’s signature. The law prohibits public schools, and private schools competing against public schools, from allowing transgender female students to participate in athletics based on their gender identity. Under this law, if this prohibition is struck down by a court, SF 133 requires the Governor to convene an “activity eligibility commission” to create rules governing athletic eligibility for transgender students’ athletic participation. This commission would be composed of appointees with no required experience in the need for gender-affirming care. The law permits any student or parent to enforce its provisions in an administrative action before the Wyoming Board of Education. Given the effective date for the new law in July of 2023, Wyoming was immediately added to California’s travel restricted list as of July 14, 2023.
“These laws pose significant risks for deepening the stigmatization and alienation of LGBTQ+ youth who are already subject to pervasive discrimination, bullying, and hate crimes. In the face of such a gross misuse of public resources, California firmly denounces these laws. As mandated by AB 1887, we are, thus, compelled to impose restrictions on state-funded travel to Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming in response to their discriminatory laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community,” said Attorney General Bonta.
The State of California also recently added Georgia, Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, and Utah to the AB 1887 travel-restricted list for enacting similar laws discriminating against LGBTQ+ youth. Once these states are all added, California will have included 26 states on the AB 1887 list. For additional information on AB 1887, including the list of states subject to its provisions, visit oag.ca.gov/ab1887.
AB 1887 reflects California’s policy to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender Americans. The law prohibits state agencies, departments, boards, or commissions from authorizing state-funded travel to a state that — after June 26, 2015 — has enacted a law authorizing, or repealing existing protections against, discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
These restrictions also include educational state entities, like California State University Bakersfield.
California state agencies are responsible for consulting the AB 1887 list maintained by the California Department of Justice necessary to comply with the travel and funding restrictions imposed by the law.