California is banning state-funded travel to Oklahoma because of policies it considers discriminatory toward LGBT people.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the ban Friday in response to a policy adopted in Oklahoma last month that allows private adoption and foster agencies to deny placements based on religious or moral grounds, USA Today reported.
Opponents say it’s designed to discriminate against same-sex couples or LGBT parents. Oklahoma’s Catholic bishops support the law.
Becerra’s decision is based on a 2017 California law that bans state-funded or state-sponsored travel to states that authorize discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
California already bars official travel to Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi and Texas. Collegiate California sports teams have still attended games in the states.
Under a 2017 California law, the state’s attorney general is required to keep a list of all states subject to a travel ban because of “laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression,” Becerra said in a statement obtained by USA Today.
The Oklahoma law, passed last month, allows adoption and foster care agencies to reject same-sex couples on religious grounds. California’s ban, announced by Becerra, came on the first day of LGBTQ Pride Month.
“There appears to be more and more Californians sharing our values as we are seeing more Californians move to Oklahoma,” Michael McNutt, a spokesman for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R), said in a statement to USA TODAY. “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.”
Fallin signed the adoption bill into law last month and has said the law does not restrict LGBTQ individuals from adopting.
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