In 2015, knowing they must do something to “avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people,” the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1887. The law states:
AB 1887 prohibits a state agency, department, board, or commission from requiring any state employees, officers, or members to travel to a state that, after June 26, 2015, has enacted a law that (1) has the effect of voiding or repealing existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; (2) authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; or (3) creates an exemption to antidiscrimination laws in order to permit discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. In addition, the law prohibits California from approving a request for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to such a state.
There are currently ten states on the No-Travel list, all of which are right leaning.
The state will grant exceptions in cases where the travel is “required.”
Last week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra added a new state to the list – Iowa. The reason? Because Iowa’s medicaid program will not cover transgender surgical procedures.
Becerra issued a statement which said, “The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming healthcare. California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it.”
According to the Sacramento Bee:
Becerra’s order means public employees and college students may not travel to Iowa under provisions of a 2016 California law.
Twelve years ago, Iowa’s Legislature made gender identity a protected characteristic under its Civil Rights Act, which prohibited refusing service to or discriminating against people based on their gender identity preferences.
In March 2019, the state’s Supreme Court ruled the protection extended to gender transition surgeries under the state’s Medicaid program. Two months later, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill banning Medicaid spending on the surgeries.
Two issues arise from this story. First, the cost of this surgery ranges from $20,000 to $30,000. I see it as an elective surgery. Many others, including the 9th District Court of Appeals, of course, view it as the medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria.
The appeals court recently ruled in favor of the plaintiff, a prison inmate, who believes the taxpayers of the state of Idaho should pay for his transgender surgery.
In upholding the decision of the lower court, a three-judge panel, cited the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution’s “protection against cruel and unusual punishment.”
Payment for this surgery will likely become mandatory in most states in the next few years.
Perhaps the bigger issue is California having a No-Travel list in the first place. Clearly, they have the legal right to keep such a list, but who are they to call out and to impose their beliefs upon other states? With an eleventh state being added to their list on October 4th, that means nearly 25% of states are off-limits to those traveling on state business. Will they still pay for state university athletes to travel to say Oklahoma or Texas for a bowl game? Probably. But if they grant an exception for that, another group will be put off.
Here’s hoping for a major rebuke to all of this wokeness in the 2020 election. It’s really becoming excessive and those who promote it are starting to appear pathetic.