Texas Sues California over Its Divisive Travel Ban

‘Boycotting states based on nothing more than political disagreement breaks down the ability of states to serve as laboratories of democracy…’

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Xavier Becerra/PHOTO: Gage Skidmore (CC)

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Texas has sued California after California passed a law prohibiting state-funded travel to Texas and a handful of other states.

The 2016 California law prevents state employees and university students from traveling to any state deemed “discriminatory” by California’s state government.

Texas was included on the travel ban because it allows Christian adoption agencies to prevent LGBT couples from adopting children. Other states, such as Iowa, were included on the ban because of laws that prohibit Medicaid spending on transgender surgeries.

Right now, the travel ban lists 11 states. But Texas’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, said California’s efforts are nothing more than an attempt to “divide the nation.”

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“Texas respects and honors the religious beliefs of its citizens. California lawmakers do not. As a co-author of California’s travel ban admitted, they see religious beliefs as nothing more than a ‘code to discriminate against different people,'” Paxton said in a statement.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told Politico that California is “reviewing” Texas’s lawsuit. However, its complaint will not change California’s decision “not to use taxpayer money to support laws discriminating against the LGBTQ community,” he noted.

“California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it,” he said after adding Iowa to the travel ban last year.

Texas is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review its complaint against California, arguing that the travel ban amounts to “economic sanctions” because it deprives the state of normal commerce granted to other states.

“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,” Paxton said.

However, other states have sought a different approach, with Texas’s neighbor to the north, Oklahoma, recently enacting its own reciprocal ban on California.