California attorney general Xavier Becerra wanted to look like the big tough guy standing up for the LGBT community. Two years ago, Becerra announced his state was banning state-funded travel to states with LGBT-related laws it didn’t like, and enjoyed much praise for doing so.
But in a twist that absolutely nobody could have seen coming, that was all just shallow virtue signaling, Becerra is no kind of tough guy, and the state continues to fund travel to all those states it promised it wouldn’t.
Out Sports has the details:
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has again issued a toothless edict forbidding state travel to a state he claims is dangerous for LGBTQ people. This time it’s Oklahoma, the state that hosts the College World Series and where the UCLA softball team — with an openly gay coach and out gay administrators — lost Sunday in what was effectively the sports’ Final Four.
Shocker: Becerra is in the middle of a re-election campaign.
You’ll be shocked to find out that California has come up with an endless series of exceptions to Becerra’s cynical and non-serious decree.
Case in point. In 2017 the state had an active ban on travel to the state of Tennessee. When the UCLA men’s basketball team was appointed to a Sweet Sixteen location in Tennessee, they were allowed to participate despite state funds helping cover the cost of their participation in the “banned” state.
This time around is no different. The UCLA football team will travel to the Univ. of Oklahoma to play a game on Sept. 8. No one in Sacramento is going to stop anyone from UCLA going to Oklahoma or any other state they choose. And any time a Cal State or Univ. of California team qualifies for the World Series — like the UCLA softball team this year — it will be full-steam ahead.
In other words, there is no travel ban. There is only the idea of a travel ban, which Becerra assumes will be enough to convince his constituency that he and the state of California are something they are not. He is probably correct about that.
Out Sports had a better idea.
It’s unfortunate that politicians in California, like Becerra, have turned LGBTQ rights and sports into political footballs, particularly in an election year. They should either make the policy black-and-white and build a substantial narrative with truly banned travel to these states, or stop with the nonsense, repeal these laws, and work in substantial ways to end bigotry across California, where it continues to persist.
I’m sure Becerra will get right on that.