California has long been the nation’s leader in many areas when it comes to progress. Now, the good people of the Golden State have turned their attention to the rest of the nation – specifically those states that deliberately discriminate against LGBTQ people. Xavier Becerra, California’s Attorney General, has released a list of states that have laws that strip LGBTQ Americans of their rights, and has banned state-sponsored travel to those places.
The first states to go are Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota. Alabama, Texas, and South Dakota allow bigoted adoption and foster agencies to deny a loving home to children based upon the sexual orientation or gender identity of the potential parents. In Kentucky, colleges can now ban LGBTQ students from participating in campus activities organized by student organizations, effectively turning these vulnerable students in to social pariahs on their own campus.
These states join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee, which were already on California’s list of places that legally discriminate against LGBTQ people due to a law passed by its Democratic state legislature in 2015 that banned travel to discriminatory state’s on the dime of the California taxpayers. Becerra released a statement on the decision, saying:
“While the California [Department of Justice] works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”
California is right to do this. After all, if states wish to ostracize and discriminate against entire groups of law abiding, tax paying Americans, they deserve to be shunned and denied revenue in return. The only way to make these bigots realize that their behavior is atrocious is to relegate them, their outdated laws and beliefs, and the people who enforce them to the dustbin of history where they belong.
Well done, California. Maybe other progressive states will follow suit. After all, money talks, and that is how we get these people to wake up and come into the 21st century with the rest of us.
Featured image via David McNew/Getty Images