State-funded travel to Georgia is now banned unless for emergency purposes due to the Peach State being added to California’s “no-fly” list of states that have enacted anti-LGBTQ legislation is recent years. It brings the number of jurisdictions covered by the travel ban policy to 23 states.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Friday that he had “immediately” placed Georgia on the travel-ban list because of the enactment of its House Bill 1084 that allows the state’s high school athletic association to prohibit transgender girls from competing in girls’ interscholastic sports. Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed it into law in April, and it went into effect August 19.

“We put students and parents first by putting woke politics out the classroom and off the ball field,” Kemp said at the time.

Kemp’s backing of the law resulted in a rebuke from the national LGBTQ advocacy organization the Human Rights Campaign, which accused him of knowingly signing legislation that wasn’t merited, unlike his GOP gubernatorial counterparts in Utah and Indiana who had vetoed similar bills. (Legislators in those states overrode the vetoes to allow the laws to take effect.)

“They knew, as Gov. Kemp surely knows, that there is no basis for this legislation,” stated Dewayne Johnson, HRC’s Georgia state director, at the time of the bill signing. “The bill’s attacks on gender and race are fundamentally arbitrary and not a legitimate legal basis for discrimination. The governor and legislative leaders are continually creating these false dilemmas that fail to connect with the real issues faced by everyday Georgians. Transgender kids are not creating problems by participating in school sports.”

In reviewing the new Georgia law Bonta’s office noted that HB 1084 repealed existing protections for transgender youth and requires that all public high schools involved in interscholastic athletics in Georgia adhere to the Georgia High School Association’s policies governing gender participation. Shortly following the passage of HB 1084, the association amended its bylaws, as authorized by HB 1084, to specifically exclude transgender youth from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity, noted Bonta’s office.

“Blocking transgender youth from playing sports isn’t just discriminatory, it’s government overreach – and it’s happening in states across the country,” stated Bonta, a Democrat whose office oversees the enforcement of California’s prohibited travel law. “Rather than protecting personal freedoms, state legislatures are going out of their way to invent a problem and target the rights of children. It’s a gross misuse of public resources.”

States throughout the Midwest and South have enacted similar trans youth sports bans as the one adopted in Georgia. It led Bonta announcing in June that taxpayer-funded travel would be banned to Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, and Utah because all four states adopted laws this year that force non-cisgender girls and women to play on sports teams based on their gender assigned at birth.

“California refuses to take part,” stated Bonta, in such transphobia. “As required under AB 1887, we’re restricting state-funded travel to Georgia as a result of Governor Kemp’s new transphobic law, HB 1084.”

He was referring to California’s Assembly Bill 1887, which Bonta had voted to adopt in 2015 when he served in the Assembly. It restricts state funding of travel to states that have adopted discriminatory laws against LGBTQ people since June 26, 2015. Authored by gay Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) and signed into law by former governor Jerry Brown, the restriction on taxpayer-funded travel covers government workers, academics, and college sports teams at public universities.

There is an exception if the travel is for emergency purposes, such as providing support in fighting wildfires. Meanwhile, college sports teams have found ways to cover their travel costs to the banned states via alumni funds and other means.

Since the Golden State bill took effect, the list of states covered by the travel ban has only grown. No states have yet to be removed from it due to repealing the anti-LGBTQ laws that placed them on it.

The travel bans against Indiana and Utah took effect July 1, while Louisiana’s kicked in August 1. Arizona travel will be banned as of September 28 when its anti-trans law takes effect.

The above comes from an August 19 story in the Bay Area Reporter.