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SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 29, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Democratic California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that California is discontinuing state-funded travel to Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia, saying that these states have made laws which California deems discriminatory to the “LGBTQ community.”  

The California government will only fund trips to the states for special reasons – to enforce California law or to honor commitments that existed before the legislation was passed. Funding will not be provided for trips to conferences or training events in the banned states.

The five states were added to a list of 12 states to which the government of California has already refused to fly its employees, including: Idaho, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Bonta said that states on the list have caused “a recent, dangerous wave of discriminatory new bills … across the country. They are working to prevent transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.”

Bonta’s statement follows Florida’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law earlier this month.  

Florida’s new law excludes biological males from competing with members of the opposite sex in sex-specific athletic programs. The law is meant to protect female high school and college athletes from being denied competitive and scholarship opportunities because of male athletes who claim to be women. The Wisconsin Assembly passed a similar law this month. Similar laws were passed in Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia earlier this year.

Bonta described California’s decision to restrict government-funded travel to the 17 states as a “win” for the state of California. He also alluded to a recent “victory” for the “trans movement,” when the Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal of a lower-court ruling that allowed a biological female to use male bathrooms.  

“I think, in short, it’s a positive development because it upholds the lower court decision that provides for transgender youth to use the bathrooms consistent with their gender identity,” he said.  

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson pointed to California’s new legislation as a loss for the state of California. In a statement to Newsweek, Hutchinson said, “While state employees may be barred from traveling here, Californians are fleeing by the thousands to places like Arkansas for our lower taxes, lower cost of living, and abundant opportunities. The lure of our state parks and quality of life will overcome any edict from the California Attorney General.”