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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that, effective July 1, 2020, California will restrict state-funded travel to Idaho as a result of two discriminatory bills signed into law in Idaho this year despite significant concerns raised by the Idaho Attorney General. The laws, House Bills 500 and 509, directly authorize discrimination against the transgender community. House Bill 500 repeals protections that enabled transgender students to compete on athletic teams consistent with their gender identity and House Bill 509 prohibits the amendment of birth certificates to be consistent with gender identity. The new restrictions on travel to Idaho are prescribed by law in California pursuant to Assembly Bill 1887 (AB 1887), which passed in 2016.
“Where states legislate discrimination, California unambiguously speaks out,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The State of Idaho has taken drastic steps to undermine the rights of the transgender community, preventing people from playing sports in school or having documentation that reflects their identity. Let’s not beat around the bush: these laws are plain and simple discrimination. That’s why Idaho joins the list of AB 1887 discriminating states.”
Both Idaho laws take active steps to enforce discriminatory regimes against transgender Idahoans. House Bills 500 and 509 were signed into law by Idaho Governor Brad Little on March 30, 2020. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden had raised concerns about the bills’ compliance with equal protection and privacy laws. House Bill 500, among other things, runs contrary to existing guidance by the National Collegiate Athletic Association that encourages equal opportunity for transgender students to participate in athletics. Dubiously named the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” House Bill 500 overrules existing local school policies in Idaho and directly works to ban transgender girls and women from school sports. Similarly, House Bill 509 not only authorizes but actually requires discrimination by prohibiting the amendment of birth certificates consistent with gender identity, a right previously recognized by an Idaho federal court on equal protection grounds. The laws are currently set to go into effect in Idaho on July 1, 2020.
AB 1887, which took effect beginning in 2017, restricts state-funded travel to states with laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. AB 1887’s restriction on using state funds for travel applies to California state agencies, departments, boards, authorities, and commissions, including an agency, department, board, authority, or commission of the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California, and the California State University. Each applicable agency is responsible for consulting the AB 1887 list created by the California Department of Justice to comply with the travel and funding restrictions imposed by the law.
For additional information on AB 1887, including the list of states subject to its provisions, visit: www.oag.ca.gov/ab1887.