A new law has been issued by California’s Department of Justice entitled, “Prohibition on state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states with discriminatory laws.” The law is intended to comply with California’s already existing government code which holds that “California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”
Therefore, California will not allow the expenditure of public funds to support student travel to Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The states in question have laws that recognize the natural differences between the sexes and have no rules concern discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
However, law enforcement, public health workers, and legislators are exempt from the ban, but all other “state agencies, departments, boards, authorities and commissions” are banned from spending state money on travel to the four states. The legislation that enacted the law specifically refers to representatives of the University of California and also California State University.
Therefore, students are the main group affected by the law, because funds destined to universities may not be used now for transporting students to the banned states to events such as conferences and sporting events. California State University has confirmed that it will adhere to the law. A CSU spokesperson told Daily Caller, “Inclusivity and diversity are fundamental values of the California State University. California State University wants students to participate in opportunities that support and further their academic success and the university will follow the law. CSU will encourage students to seek opportunities in states where travel is not prohibited.”
Talks between University of California-Berkeley and the University of Kansas over a men’s basketball tournament have now been cancelled. Students from three California institutions are now facing the prospect of needing private funds to travel to a conference in Memphis because of the ban.
A student at UC Davis, Mark Rivera, said attending student conferences is vital in the current political environment. Rivera said, “The law is a juvenile but well-intended reaction to a real problem. Instead of discouraging travel to supposedly backward places, we should encourage travel, otherwise, campuses will become more insular and make the problem worse.”