California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Tuesday (2 April) a ban on state-funded travel to South Carolina. The reason for this ban is an anti-LGBTI law which goes into effect on 15 April.
‘The State of South Carolina recently enacted a measure that sanctions discrimination against families in the placement of children in need of homes,’ Becerra said in a statement.
Law H-4950, enacted last July, does not specifically mention sexual orientation in its section on ‘faith-based child-placing’ agencies, but does protect these agencies from regulation that ‘discriminates’.
The text of the law states that regulations of foster care agencies ‘must not discriminate or suggest the taking of any adverse action against
a faith-based child-placing agency […] that has declined or will decline to provide any service that conflicts with, or provide any service under circumstances that conflict with, a sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction of the faith-based child placing agency’.
The Trump administration recently granted a waiver to such an agency in the state. With the waiver, Miracle Hill Ministries will continue receiving federal funds and acting as a state-sponsored foster care agency.
‘The State of California stands strongly against any form of discrimination,’ Becerra continued.
‘AB 1887 authorizes my office to make that promise real. Pursuant to AB 1887, California will now bar state-funded or sponsored travel to South Carolina.’
AB 1887 is a California law enacted in 2017. It ‘prohibits state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states with laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression’.
Other states have authorized similar bans.
In 2016, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned state travel to North Carolina based on their anti-trans legislation.
A new battleground
With a lack of federal laws for LGBTI equality, states have become a battleground for these rights. The fights manifest in numerous ways, starting with same-sex marriage, and now seen more frequently with things like conversion therapy, ID laws, and more.
Adoption is one of these battles.
Discrimination has not won in every state, however.
Michigan recently ruled faith-based foster agencies cannot discriminate against LGBTI parents.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster did not respond to GSN’s request for comment.