California Bans State-Funded Travel to Iowa over Transgender Policy

‘This narrow provision simply clarifies that Iowa’s Civil Rights Act does not require taxpayer dollars to pay for sex reassignment and other similar surgeries…’

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Xavier Becerra/IMAGE: YouTube

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) California added Iowa to its travel ban this week after Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill prohibiting Medicaid spending on gender-reassignment surgeries.

Iowa is not the 11 state on California’s list, which also includes Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas. Under the travel ban, California public employees and students cannot travel to any of these states on taxpayer dollars. The law is loosely enforced: California college athletes still travel to the banned states for athletic events.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Iowa’s decision not to fund transgender surgeries with taxpayer dollars is akin to discrimination.

“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,” Becerra said in a statement, according to the Sacramento Bee.

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“California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it,” he said.

The travel ban, signed into law in 2016 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, makes sure the state can “avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

The Tennessee legislature slammed the law in 2017, saying, “California’s attempt to influence public policy in our state is akin to Tennessee expressing its disapproval of California’s exorbitant taxes, spiraling budget deficits, runaway social welfare programs, and rampant illegal immigration,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Reynolds defended Iowa’s decision to prohibit Medicaid-funded transgender surgeries, arguing it protects taxpayers’ right not to pay for medically unnecessary surgeries with which they disagree.

“This narrow provision simply clarifies that Iowa’s Civil Rights Act does not require taxpayer dollars to pay for sex reassignment and other similar surgeries,” Reynolds’s spokesman, Pat Garrett, told Fox News. “This returns us to what had been the state’s position for years.”

California’s Iowa ban will go into effect on Oct. 4, according to the Bee.