[JURIST] The California legislature began considering a new bill [AB-1887, text] this week that would ban government-funded employee travel to states that are considered "anti-gay." Democrat Evan Low stated [Time Report] that he introduced the bill in response to bills like the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act [text], which allows discrimination for religious reasons. The bill would not apply to lawmakers and trips with a political motivation but would apply to administrative travel only. It is unclear, at this point, which states the law will apply to but the law will definitely apply to states like Indiana with laws promoting discrimination.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, as well as freedom of religious practice, remain controversial issues in the US. At least nineteen states have enacted some variety of religious freedom laws, most modeled after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act [text] signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993. Following the US Supreme Court [official website] ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges [JURIST report] in June, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis refused to issue [JURIST report] marriage licenses, arguing that her Christian faith should exempt her from issuing the licenses to same-sex couples. In June North Carolina lawmakers passed SB 2, a law that permits magistrates to refuse to perform same-sex marriages on religious grounds, overriding a veto [JURIST reports] by Governor Pat McCrory. Earleir this year, an Indiana legislative committee approved a bill [JURIST report] that would repeal the controversial religious freedom law passed last year.