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LA County bans official travel to Florida, Texas over LGBTQ+ policies

April 10, 2022
2 min read
Los Angeles Exteriors And Landmarks - 2021
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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted last week to suspend official business travel to Florida and Texas. The reason cited for the ban were polices directed at LGBTQ+ youth and their families in the Republican-led states.

In its decision to ban taxpayer-funded travel, the board cited the order signed in February by Texas Governor Greg Abbott that requires gender-affirming treatments provided to transgender youth be investigated as "child abuse."

The board also cited the new Florida law, signed in March by Governor Ron DeSantis. Dubbed the "Don’t Say Gay" law, it restricts instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

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The argument

The motion for a travel ban was filed by Board of Supervisors members Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis. Kuehl cited a rise in hate crimes against LGBTQ+ youth.

"This is no time to be enacting more legislation, sort of designed to encourage more harassment and suffering," she said. "And that's exactly what the states of Texas and Florida have done."

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She called the Texas order "discriminatory, harmful and deliberately cruel" and said the Florida law "would perpetuate a culture of bullying and secrecy and shame and fear."

Related: TPG supports Trevor Project in stand against anti-LGBTQ+ community legislation

The vote

The vote for the travel ban was unanimous. Included is an out, in case the county CEO determines "that failure to authorize that travel would seriously harm the county's interest."

The ban will be lifted if the Texas and Florida orders are suspended, county officials said.

State bans

The State of California has since 2017 restricted state-funded and state-sponsored travel in response to anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

Last year the state added Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia to its no-travel list. Florida and Texas are both on the list, which now totals 18 states.

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