California has added Florida and four other states to a list of places where state-funded travel is banned. California Attorney General Rob Bonta said the decision was made because of those states' "discriminatory" laws against people in the LGBTQ+ community.
"Rather than focusing on solving real issues, some politicians think it's in their best interest to demonize trans youth and block lifesaving care," Bonta said. "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."
The other four states include Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia, bringing the total number of states in which travel is banned to 17. All of those states have recently introduced legislation targeting the transgender community, including laws to force transgender individuals to play in school sports based on their biological sex instead of their gender identity.
The travel restrictions were put in place under a law passed in 2016 that banned most non-essential travel to states that actively discriminated against people based on their sexual preferences or gender identity. The list previously included 12 states: Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.