California state employees may no longer use state funds travel to states where LGBTQ discrimination is legal

It will hurt someone; at one point, a major US Environmental Protection Agency research complex was in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Please note that the law does not prohibit travel that is paid for or reimbursed using non-state funds.

Isn’t most travel paid for by funding agencies? (usually federal or private) I mean, that’s how it is in my field. Other than university-internal grants at a state university, I don’t even know of any way to get funds at the state level.

So money that they weren’t giving out can’t be used for these purposes.

The reference to UC employees has me wondering, though: is there a credible argument that this ban, as applied to certain academics employed by state-run institutions, violates academic freedom? For example, if you’re an anthropologist who studies, say, recent efforts of the Cherokee Freedmen to obtain tribal citizenship, your research all but requires you to go to Oklahoma. And now departmental travel funds (as opposed to money you might get from grants) can’t be expended for that?

I dunno, if I’m that hypothetical person, I’d think about suing.


Exactly. That’s the whole point of this kind of political pressure. People complain when they are hurting. Complainers vote so Gov. Brown is pushing buttons. Again, it’s blunt force political pressure in action.Watch it and weep … or go get in involved. Xeni posted a photo project this AM of women getting involved and leading. We should all do the same. If you are unfortunate enough to live in a state where these laws are preventing business get active. Call your elected representatives. Apply the pressure. Vote.


There was a deal in place in December to repeal it, but it fell through. It certainly contributed to the very narrow defeat of outgoing ® Governor McCrory, as it was one of his pet projects. The expectation is that it will be repealed partially or in full.

A full repeal of House Bill 2 is inevitable, according to a panel of experts who spoke Tuesday about the future of the sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation. - See more at:


The forward-looking values have already made it to the cities and college towns of those states. The problem is that the politics of those states are dominated by deeply entrenched Know-Nothings.

The only way things might change is if municipalities respond by proposing their own laws in defiance of the state’s bigoted ones, setting up a lawsuit that will bring the matter to the Supreme Court. Of course, given the likely composition of the SCOTUS in the near future there’s no guarantee that they’ll win.


You are right there - it is selfish to worry more about academics/state employees than members of the LGBQT community in those states.

The issue is whether a ban will result in better treatment of LGBTQ groups. I don’t see how a travel ban is going to work in the short or long term, and there are potential (even if comparatively trivial) downsides as well.

Edit: Something else your comment made me wonder about was the drive behind the law. Was there a big push from California’s LGBTQ community on this - are they generally supportive? The bill itself was introduced by Evan Low who is a member of that community. Imagining myself in the shoes of a fellow democratic legislator in the state caucus, I’d have a hard time voting against it if I knew it was widely supported by the LGBTQ community.


Absolutely agree there, but I wasn’t implying that California had become an echo chamber. Cutting off the flow of good people and ideas to Tennessee will not help that though.


That’s a good point (and also @mallyboon). What if you’re a cultural history who studies gay culture in the south?

That might be a means to challenge the law, which could create various loopholes. Of course, the academic isn’t barred from traveling to Oklahoma, but not allowed to fund their travel through their travel grants, so that’s a way around it. Maybe they should set up a waiver program of some sort?

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This is going to come off really harsh. The harshness isn’t for you, though. It’s for the situation and the people who cause it.

I’m a resident of one of the hellholes we’re talking about and I’m one of the people discriminated against by these laws. I’m a lot more concerned about the institutionalized discrimination propping up and encouraging the violent hate crimes and cultural discrimination I face here than whether conferences are still held here.

It already wasn’t safe in my state but assholes across the nation have been emboldened by a certain election. There’s only three states in the county where if I’m assaulted or killed because of who I am, the people who did it will definitely be prosecuted according to the law. I can only afford to live in one of those states and I can’t really move right now.

Not everyone here feels like the conference bans and other events cancelled are a good idea. We have mixed feelings overall. I’m ok with them but I’m not sure they make me safer.


And of course, academics are not banned from going to conferences in the south, but aren’t allowed to spend state money to get there.


What is the outcome one wants? The repeal of the laws? That won’t come through one state not paying for state employees to visit a handful of other states.

The state has the power. If one wants to change it one has to work withing the frame work to affect that change. This won’t affect change or even reflection.

A boycott will have little to no affect on the state. I am sure there are other things beside academic conferences, but that was the example given. And in that case the only thing you are hurting people who would have benefited from you attending that conference. Because as I said later 1) one state not going to a conference won’t necessarily stop it, especially if it is one of the major schools hosting it. 2) I highly doubt these states are raking in tourism dollars from academic conferences.

In addition - I have been using Kansas as my example in my head because 1) I am from there, 2) it is on the front page - but Kansas has been a cluster fuck lately with the latest governor and some of the programs he has implemented. Simply put, they have bigger problems and no one gives a fuck if “some hoity toity liberals from CA aren’t going bless them with their presence at some hippy academic convention”.

So I guess one gets the moral high ground with this stance, but it isn’t hurting the state much if at all, it isn’t affecting the law, and if it is going to affect someone negatively, I would think it would be the academics who would have appreciated the input from CA.

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But again, the issue is that academics (we’re guessing here, cause we aren’t sure about it) won’t be able to spend travel funds to go. I don’t think this bans academics as state employees from going to conferences…


It’s had a huge impact on NC. New governor and very nearly overturned the law without getting a new governor. On the pressure of big businesses boycotting the state for events, new offices, and conventions.


That’s already shown to be false with HB2 in North Carolina. The boycott by both public and private entities from out-of-state has generated an outcry within NC and influenced the Gubernatorial election.


Sometimes I think the more effective solution would be for states like CA (perhaps working with their corporations) to offer relocation assistance for people like yourself. Accelerate the brain drain that’s already occurring and reap the benefits of bringing the best and brightest and most creative to enlightened states.


What of travel to the 80% of the globe that does not have protections for LGBTQ (Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa minus SA, Middle East, Oceania minus New Zealand)?


That too. Which means the only people you are hurting is the academics.

It was a MUCH broader boycott. Like boycotting BP won’t shut down the oil business. You have one state not supporting state employees traveling to a handful of other states. That simply isn’t going to be as effective.

If there was a broader impact, say something that affected sports teams and Travis Tritt concerts, maybe it would have more of an effect. But you also would have to outline exactly which laws you are boycotting because pretty much every state has a shit law somewhere, and while they singled out the worst offenders, there are many more with crap laws that target sexuality.

In short, there is a difference between empathizing with the sentiment (which I do) and pragmatically looking at it as not an effective means of protest. That doesn’t meant he laws are OK or that nothing should be done.

But the HB2 boycott started (IIRC) with New York State prohibiting state employees/departments doing business in NC. It spread from that. So it’s a little short-sighted to shrug off a state boycott from the state with the largest population, a G5 economy, and a state budget more than 7x that of North Carolina.


That will be less of an issue - state laws are being written in such a way as to destroy local ordinances that recognize LGBT rights. It’s the new Republican strategy.

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