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City of San Francisco Bans Travel to Texas Over Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Law

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The bathroom bill may be dead—at least for now—but Texas continues to face fallout over an anti-LGBTQ adoption law signed by Governor Greg Abbott in June.

According to The Bay Area Reporter, the cities of San Francisco and Richmond have joined the state of California in barring employees from making nonessential, taxpayer-funded trips to the Lone Star State. The bans also prohibit city departments and agencies from entering contracts with companies headquartered in the Lone Star State. The bans are in response to Texas’ House Bill 3859, which allows child welfare agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on religious beliefs.

“According to a June 30 memo from City Administrator Naomi Kelly to city department heads, the addition of Texas to the list of states covered by San Francisco’s travel ban policy will be effective as of September 1, as that is the date that Texas’ homophobic adoption law takes effect,” the newspaper reported.

San Francisco’s travel ban now mirrors California’s, which covers Texas and seven other states with anti-LGBTQ laws. It remains unclear how the bans will impact certain athletic events and conventions.

When California added Texas to its travel ban, Abbott delivered a mocking response.

“California may be able to stop their state employees,” Abbott spokesman John Wittman said, “but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation, and relocating to Texas.”

Texas Competes, a coalition of pro-LGBTQ employers in the state, estimates that HB 3859—along with consideration of the bathroom bill—have already cost Texas $66 million in lost conventions.

According to the Bay Area Reporter, California’s Santa Cruz County has also banned employee travel to the Lone Star State. And LGBTQ advocates are encouraging other cities in the Bay Area to follow suit.

 

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John Wright

John Wright is the editor of OutSmart magazine. He has spent two decades in the mainstream and LGBTQ media. Most recently, he served as senior editor of Dallas Voice, and covered LGBTQ issues in the state Legislature for The Texas Observer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wright earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He resides in the EaDo area of Houston, where he is currently remodeling a 1930s row house.
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