The State Worker

‘Bathroom bill’ gone, but California keeping ban on travel to North Carolina

Attorney General Xavier Becerra won’t lift a ban on publicly funded travel to North Carolina even though the Southern state repealed the law that California Democrats condemned as discriminatory against gay and transgender people.

North Carolina’s repeal of its House Bill 2, the so-called “bathroom bill,” late last month persuaded the NCAA to lift its own ban on sponsoring championship collegiate sporting events there.

Becerra found the repeal inadequate, noting that North Carolina’s new law bans local governments and universities from passing their own anti-discrimination laws. A number of civil rights organizations, such as Equality California, denounced North Carolina’s repeal of HB 2 for the same reason.

Led by Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, the Legislature last year adopted a ban on taxpayer-funded travel to states with laws that allow exemptions to anti-discrimination laws. North Carolina was one of four states that landed on California’s no-go list this year.

“Discrimination is unacceptable and we intend to protect LBGT rights. California’s law was enacted to ensure that, with limited exceptions, our taxpayer resources are not spent in states that authorize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. North Carolina’s new law does not cure the infirmity of this type of discrimination,” Becerra said in a written statement.

California’s travel ban allows some exemptions for law enforcement, tax auditors and grants. California’s public universities also are subject to the ban, although some of them have said they will allow their sports teams to travel to banned states for championships as long as the trips are paid for by donations or outside groups.

North Carolina’s HB 2 prohibited local governments from adopting anti-discrimination policies and required people using restrooms in government buildings to choose the one that corresponds with their gender at birth.

Adam Ashton: 916-321-1063, @Adam_Ashton. Sign up for state worker news alerts at