Bill Would Ban State Travel Based on Religious Freedom Laws
March 3, 2016
***Media Contact: Brad Dacus - 949-422-0395***
A bill recently introduced in the California Legislature takes aim at other states with religious freedom protections.
AB 1887, by Assembly Member Low of Silicon Valley, forbids the state from paying travel expenses for most types of employees unless they are visiting states with LGBT-friendly laws. The bill claims to “strongly support” religious freedom but only to the extent it is deemed non-discriminatory. The bill is a response to clashes within the last few years between LGBT rights and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which is in place at the federal level and in some form in 21 states. Those states include both large states and popular convention destinations, such as Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia to name a few. However, the bill does not appear to restrict the travel of members of the Legislature or their staffs.
Pacific Justice Institute opposes the bill. Brad Dacus, president of PJI, commented, “AB 1887 is hypocritical, elitist and out of step with our First Freedom, religious liberty. While we all would like to see less wasteful travel at taxpayer expense—particularly by members of the Legislature—this is not the way to do it.”
Assembly Member Low has also introduced AB 1888, which would cut off student financial aid for colleges and universities, particularly religious institutions, that are not perceived to be LGBT-friendly.