State-sponsored travel to South Carolina will be banned starting April 15 due to that state's law allowing private, faith-based child placement agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people who want to foster or adopt children, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.
California Bans State-Funded Travel to South Carolina Over LGBTQ Discrimination
A provision in the South Carolina law, enacted in July 2018, does not explicitly mention sexual orientation but is written broadly enough to enable such discrimination, Becerra said Tuesday. California law AB 1887, he added, prohibits state-funded and sponsored travel to states with laws discriminating against LGBTQ people.
“The state of South Carolina recently enacted a measure that sanctions discrimination against families in the placement of children in need of homes," Becerra said in a statement. "The state of California stands strongly against any form of discrimination. AB 1887 authorizes my office to make that promise real. California will now bar state-funded or sponsored travel to South Carolina.”
Nine other states, mostly in the South, are also subject to the travel ban: Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, Becerra’s office said.
Brian Symmes, a spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, did not respond to a request for comment, but posted this retort on Twitter:
“If Attorney General Becerra was interested in the truth, he would know this is all about protecting South Carolinians’ religious freedom — regardless of their faith,” Symmes told The State. “While he tries to score cheap political points, we’ll be more than happy to continue recruiting businesses that are leaving overregulated, high tax states like California to come to South Carolina and create opportunities for our people.”
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce also declined to comment.
Becerra said South Carolina has recently engaged in other forms of discrimination, including in 2018 when McMaster asked the Trump administration for a waiver to allow faith-based foster care agencies that receive public funds to discriminate on any basis consistent with their religious beliefs. The administration granted the request in January 2019.
California's restriction on using state funds for travel applies to state agencies, departments and boards, and includes some units of the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California and California State University.
Anna Sturla of KQED News contributed to this report.
Got a news tip or comment? Email the reporter: email@example.com. You can also reach her on the encrypted communications app, Signal: 650-888-2765.