Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia are now on a list of states California will not do business with because of laws it says discriminate against people because of their sexual identity.
“We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of discrimination and bigotry in this country,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said at an event on Monday to mark the anniversary of the riot at the Stonewall gay bar in New York.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the addition on top of the 12 states already on the list for failing to comply with a 2016 state law that forbids doing business with states that allegedly discriminate against people based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
The states already on the list are Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.
The Chronicle reported:
“They’re harming and attacking the most vulnerable … not allowing kids to be kids,” Assembly Member Evan Low, D-Cupertino, author of the 2016 law and chair of the Legislature’s LGBTQ Caucus, said at the news conference. “We will not go back to the closet and we will not stay silent.”
He said some states, in response to pressure from businesses as well as the California law, have been backing away from their harshest measures. But Bonta said more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills had been introduced around the country as of this month, including 85 targeting transgender youths and adults.
The travel-ban law, Bonta said, “is about aligning our dollars with our values.”
“While state employees may be barred from traveling here, Californians are fleeing by the thousands to places like Arkansas for our lower taxes, lower cost of living and abundant opportunities,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in response to the announcement, the Chronicle reported. “The lure of our state parks and quality of life will overcome any edict from the California attorney general.”
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