California Finally Admits Defeat, Repeals Travel Ban on Red States

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

It appears that California’s government was forced to eat a healthy helping of crow after it passed new legislation related to its travel ban to red states. The Golden State has officially repealed a law banning state-sponsored travel to states that supposedly discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community.


The original legislation, enacted in 2016, was primarily a symbolic move to show those bigots in red states a thing or two. But now, the rocket scientists in charge of California’s government have finally realized the measure did far more harm than good.

A California law banning publicly funded travel to states with laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people is no longer active under legislation signed Wednesday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

California’s Senate Bill 447, also known as the BRIDGE Project, officially repeals a 2016 law that prohibited the state from sponsoring travel to states with laws in place that discriminate “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

At the time of the BRIDGE Project’s passage, the number of states subject to California’s ban was an unprecedented 26, preventing state workers — including university professors and elected officials — from visiting more than half the country on state-sponsored trips.

The bill’s primary sponsor, California state Sen. Toni Atkins, a Democrat and the first openly LGBTQ person to lead the state Legislature as Senate president, argued this legislative session that the state’s travel ban has led to unintended consequences and has isolated some of the most vulnerable people in other states.


Under the Bridge Act, the state is trying to move from a punitive approach to constructive outreach. This would involve a messaging campaign aimed at red states that would promote LGBTQ acceptance and inclusivity.

They will target states that have passed legislation prohibiting the teaching of leftist propaganda regarding sexuality and gender identity in public schools and those who have passed laws against subjecting children to “gender-affirming care,” which involves the use of puberty blockers, surgery, and other questionable treatments that have been shown to cause irreversible damage.

The original intent of the 2016 ban was to use California’s economic muscle to punish these states. But it was about as effective as rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.

Indeed, the law garnered criticism from folks on both the left and right. Authors Keenan Norris and A. Lamont Williams slammed the measure, explaining its impact on black academics seeking to travel to other states to educate people about the black American experience. The law curtailed their ability to go to other states and collaborate with other like-minded academics.


In essence, California’s travel ban was a pathetic effort to force progressive ideas on states that do not embrace them. It was a way to coerce other state governments to conform to far-leftist ideology regardless of how they felt about it. Fortunately, the measure failed. Perhaps this might encourage folks like Gavin Newsom and his hair gel to focus on badly governing their own state instead of trying to remake the rest of the nation in their image.


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