Republicans like to cry about freedom and the danger of government interfering in our lives. In the meantime, government overreach in the wrong areas has impacted freedom, not to mention dignity, for countless Americans recently. From controlling women’s bodies to supporting ugly discrimination, the GOP has created an unsettling, surreal situation in which Americans must think twice before traveling to different parts of their own country.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Friday that California has added Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming to its list of states to which state-funded travel is restricted under AB 1887. This law bars state agencies from permitting state-funded travel to states that have enacted any laws authorizing discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. AB 1887 also targets states that repeal existing protections based on these protected classes.
AB 1887 has required the Attorney General to keep a list of such states since June 26, 2105, and with the addition of Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming, the total has climbed to 26, according to a press release. This means that California has now identified more than half of all states as having taken unacceptable adverse action against the LGBTQ+ community.
Bonta warned that these states’ laws “constitute a clear case of government overreach—and it’s an alarming trend we’re witnessing across the country.” Not only do laws, such as denying access to critical healthcare, “contradict the values of inclusivity and diversity,” but they “pose significant risks for deepening the stigmatization and alienation of LGBTQ+ youth who are already subject to pervasive discrimination, bullying, and hate crimes.”
This development comes as multiple advocacy organizations have issued emergency declarations and travel advisories for Florida. As I wrote last month, Ron DeSantis and Republican Florida state legislators have created this unfortunate situation through actions that are discriminatory or openly hostile to people based on race, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as other factors. They may pretend otherwise, but Republicans are the ones attacking freedom and engaging in government interference—and they’re doing it in the most heinous ways.