January 24, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Texas Files Suit Against California’s Travel Ban to State

Texas asks U.S. Supreme Court to overturn California’s travel ban to Texas

By Sam Catanzaro

Texas is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California’s government travel ban to the state that centers around a Texas law that allows foster care agencies to decline placements based on factors including parents’ sexual orientation and gender identity.

On February 10 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an original action against the State of California in the United States Supreme Court, seeking to strike down California’s travel ban to states with laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or against same-sex couples or their families.

The California legislation went into effect on January 1, 2017. This restriction applies to state agencies, departments, boards, authorities, and commissions, including an agency, department, board, authority, or commission of the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California and the California State University.

Under California law, state-funded and state-sponsored travel is prohibited to Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

California added Texas to the ban in 2017 after Texas lawmakers passed HB 3859, which allows foster care agencies to discriminate against children in foster care and potentially disqualify LGBT families from the state’s foster and adoption system.

“Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century. I am announcing today that 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,” said California Attorney General Becerra. “While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”

According to Texas Attorney General Paxton California’s travel ban violates the Constitution’s Privileges and Immunities Clause, Interstate Commerce Clause and guarantee of Equal Protection.

“The law California opposes does not prevent anyone from contributing to child-welfare; in fact, it allows our state to partner with as many different agencies as possible to expand the number of safe and loving homes available to foster children. Boycotting states based on nothing more than political disagreement breaks down the ability of states to serve as laboratories of democracy while still working together as one nation—the very thing our Constitution intended to prevent,” Paxon said.

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