SACRAMENTO, California, June 27, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The state of California has ordered a travel ban for its government employees to states that have adopted laws to protect religious freedom.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a pro-abortion Democrat, has unilaterally prohibited all state-sanctioned trips to Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Texas because those states have passed legislation allowing those who uphold natural marriage and biological gender to live by their sincerely-held beliefs.
Becerra’s actions are designed to pressure target states to abandon religious freedom laws protecting Christians who oppose sodomy and/or disagree with gender theory.
The latest four additions bring California’s “No Visiting List” to eight states in the lower 48, or eight percent of the country.
Becerra noted his reasons for adding the four states:
Alabama enacted a law in May that allows Christian adoption agencies to follow their faith’s moral criteria for placing children in homes. Their faith-based criteria prioritize placing children in healthy, stable families with a mother and a father.
Kentucky enacted a law in March that recognizes the right of student-led Christian organizations in public schools to adhere to their faith’s “doctrines and principles,” and which prohibits administrators from punishing students for expressing religious beliefs.
South Dakota law protects Christian adoption and child placement agencies that seek to place children in traditional families.
A similar Texas law enacted in June allows Christian child welfare agencies to be protected from lawsuits if they place children according to their “sincerely held religious beliefs.” It also allows faith-based organizations to deny referrals for abortion drugs or devices.
“I am adding four states to the list of states where California-funded or sponsored travel will be restricted on account of the discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states,” Becerra decreed in a press release. “When California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”
Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee are already verboten.
Travel is forbidden for public universities as well, which means college sports teams may not play teams in prohibited states unless the game was already scheduled and contracted before January 1.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey explained that the bill Becerra objects to simply affords First Amendment freedoms to religious organizations. “This bill is not about discrimination but instead protects the ability of religious agencies to place vulnerable children in a permanent home,” she said.
Alabama Rep. Rich Wingo, R-Tuscaloosa, explained that his bill is needed to ensure faith-based organizations can follow their beliefs without the threat of being shut down.
For its part, Texas is shrugging off the California economic threat. “California might be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over-taxation and over-regulation and relocating to Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott’s press secretary, John Wittman, said.
Marc Rylander, communications director for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, commented, “It’s funny how the very state that is so adamantly against keeping terrorists out of our country — they oppose the president’s travel ban — now wants to keep Californians out of Texas.”
Texas lawmakers argued that if that California really was concerned about human rights, Gov. Jerry Brown wouldn’t have traveled to China recently. They further pointed out that Hispanic California politicians disregarded the travel ban to come to Dallas last week for a convention.
“While California prides itself on being ‘open-minded,’ it is only open-minded if you kneel at the altar of a certain political agenda,” State Rep. Wayne Frank, R-Wichita Falls, the author of the law Becerra objects to, pointed out. “It seems that California has become like many college campuses across the country. They love a diversity of people but not a diversity of opinion.”
Last week, a federal appeals court upheld Mississippi’s “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” called “the broadest religious objections measure enacted by any state.” The measure ensures that religious organizations and Christian-owned businesses that object to same-sex “marriage” will not be forced to violate their sincerely held beliefs.
The Kentucky law Becerra objects to is known as the “Charlie Brown Law,” so-named after a school censored the Bible verse Linus recites at the end of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”