The ink is barely dry on California’s newly-expanded ban on state-funded travel to Texas and other states that, it claims, discriminate against LGBT people — and this week, two openly gay Democrat politicians are traveling to Texas, violating the ban they claim to support.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Thursday announced he was prohibiting state employees from traveling at state expense to Texas and three other states that he determined have approved laws that discriminate against gay and transgender people.
Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who is openly gay, is among those attending the annual gathering of the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). A spokesman said he is using his own money, not taxpayer funds. Lara voted for the bill that enacted the travel ban.
Lara felt participating in a panel discussion on immigration was important amid debate over Gov. Greg Abbott’s signage of a controversial immigration law that bans “sanctuary cities” for immigrants in the country illegally, spokesman Michael Soller said.
“Texas just passed one of the nation’s most anti-immigrant laws with Senate Bill 4, and California went down this road with Proposition 187 more than 20 years ago,” Lara said in a statement. “With LGBT and immigrant rights under assault across the country, I thought it was important to join other Latino leaders and show California’s example.”
Lara is not the only California Democrat making the trip. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem John Duran is also traveling to the convention.
Democrats may have a hard time holding every athletic team in California to a different standard if they make exceptions for high-profile politicians to travel to the “banned” states for “important” causes.