Cal­i­for­nia bans travel to Okla. over new law on adop­tions

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - NEWS - Ryan W. Miller

Add Ok­la­homa to the list of states to which Cal­i­for­nia is ban­ning state­funded and state-spon­sored travel.

Cal­i­for­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Xavier Be­cerra an­nounced Fri­day that as a re­sult of “dis­crim­i­na­tory leg­is­la­tion” that be­came Ok­la­homa law last month, the western state will pro­hibit travel there.

A 2017 Cal­i­for­nia law re­quires that its at­tor­ney gen­eral keep a list of states sub­ject to a state travel ban be­cause of “laws that au­tho­rize or re­quire dis­crim­i­na­tion on the ba­sis of sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der iden­tity or gen­der ex­pres­sion,” Be­cerra’s of­fice said in a state­ment.

“Cal­i­for­nia tax­pay­ers are tak­ing a stand against big­otry and in sup­port of those who would be harmed by this prej­u­diced pol­icy,” he said.

Ok­la­homa be­comes the ninth state sub­ject to the state-funded ban. Travel to Alabama, Kansas, Ken­tucky, Mis­sis­sippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas had pre­vi­ously been pro­hib­ited due to the 2017 law.

In May, Ok­la­homa Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill that al­lows pri­vate adop­tion agen­cies to deny same-sex cou­ples from their adop­tion ser­vices on the ba­sis of “re­li­gious or moral con­vic­tions or poli­cies.” The bill sparked back­lash from LGBTQ ad­vo­cates.

Fallin, a Repub­li­can, de­fended the bill af­ter sign­ing it, say­ing “the state will not be in any way re­strict­ing cur­rent prac­tice al­low­ing LGBTQ in­di­vid­u­als and cou­ples fos­ter­ing or adopt­ing. It does not ban same-sex adop­tion or fos­ter care in Ok­la­homa.”

Michael McNutt, a Fallin spokesman, said, “With our state’s econ­omy be­ing as strong as it is, we won’t miss a few Cal­i­for­ni­ans trav­el­ing on state busi­ness show­ing up in our state.”

Xavier Be­cerra

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