Texas AG Paxton Sues California Over Travel Ban

Chris Fox
February 10, 2020 - 5:43 pm
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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AUSTIN (KRLD) - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Monday filed an original action against the State of California in the United States Supreme Court, seeking to strike down California’s travel ban for states that uphold First Amendment protections for religious liberty. California added Texas to the ban on state-funded travel after the Texas Legislature implemented a law allowing faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to decline placements that violated their religious beliefs, specifically the LGBT community.

“California is attempting to punish Texans for respecting the right of conscience for foster care and adoption providers. And as the U.S. Supreme Court said recently in upholding the religious liberty of artist Jack Phillips, disparaging religious beliefs like the California Legislature did here, ‘as merely rhetorical – something insubstantial and even insincere,’ is inappropriate for any entity charged with enacting fair and neutral laws,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The law California opposes does not prevent anyone from contributing to child-welfare; in fact, it allows our state to partner with as many different agencies as possible to expand the number of safe and loving homes available to foster children. Boycotting states based on nothing more than political disagreement breaks down the ability of states to serve as laboratories of democracy while still working together as one nation—the very thing our Constitution intended to prevent.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra back in 2017 announced that California will prohibit state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas-based on discriminatory legislation enacted in each state.

Texas: HB 3859 was enacted on June 15, 2017. HB 3859, allows foster care agencies to discriminate against children in foster care and potentially disqualify LGBT families from the state’s foster and adoption system.

"Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century. I am announcing today that I am adding four states to the list of states where California-funded or sponsored travel will be restricted on account of the discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states," said Attorney General Becerra. “While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That's why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”