California has announced a ban on state-funded travel to Ohio due to the state’s anti-LGBTQ+ policies.
The news was announced on Sunday (26 September) by a press release from California Attorney General Rob Bonta.
“Blocking access to life-saving care is wrong. Period,” he said.
“Whether it’s denying a prescription for medication that prevents the spread of HIV, refusing to provide gender-affirming care, or undermining a woman’s right to choose, HB 110 unnecessarily puts the health of Americans at risk.”
He went on to say that the ban is in line with Assembly Bill 1887, which was first introduced in 2016 to battle out-of-state anti-LGBTQ+ policies.
“When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, the California Department of Justice must act,” he said.
“That’s why — in line with the law — we’re adding Ohio to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list.”
Back in June, a clause was passed in Ohio’s state budget that allowed medical professionals to refuse treatment due to their religious beliefs or personal morals.
The legislation ended up being signed into law a month later by Gov. Mike DeWine.
This sparked pushback from LGBTQ+ activists who expressed concern about queer individuals not getting proper care.
Evan Low – who serves as the chair of the California legislative LGBTQ Caucus – also released a statement regarding the importance of the restriction.
“Ohio’s decision to condone attacks on the health of its nearly 400,000 LGBTQ+ residents was widely opposed by the state’s medical community. It’s plain that this law only serves to discriminate,” he said.
“We will never put Californians at risk of falling victim to the same toxic standard by supporting the use of taxpayer dollars for travel in places where anti-LGBTQ discrimination is the law of the land.”
The travel restriction is set to take place on 30 September, which will make Ohio the 18th state that California implemented a travel ban on.
Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas are also included in the travel restricted list.
Effective 9/30, CA — in line w/ #AB1887 — is restricting state-funded travel to Ohio as a result of new legislation that threatens to deny medical care to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Blocking access to healthcare is wrong. Period.https://t.co/8oWryHpN2g
— Rob Bonta (@AGRobBonta) September 24, 2021
Thank you 🙏 @AGRobBonta 🙏 for taking this important stand. We will never put Californians at risk by supporting the use of taxpayer dollars for travel in places where anti-LGBTQ discrimination is the law of the land. 👊🌈 @RobBonta @eqca https://t.co/FwJOjE4IBs
— Evan Low (@Evan_Low) September 24, 2021