It is clear that COVID-19 has affected how America does business as unusual: to mask or not to mask, to jab or not, inside or outside. And political lines have been drawn in nearly permanent marker. For example, California Democrats – the elected state variety – have been banning travel to our United States they find offensive to their legislative practices.
Ohio, the latest banned state, makes it a whopping 18 on the blacklist, with a total population of 117 million being isolated from the presence of certain Left Coasters. That’s a little more than a third of the nation’s overall population. Of course, many of those 18 states are where Trump won the 2020 vote, and the blue states that went for Joe Biden are left the beneficiaries of the open-door policy for Californians.
In Just Five Years
Deciding it was time to stand against conservative regions, California Democrats enacted a law in 2016 prohibiting taxpayer-funded travel — meaning “state agency, department, board, authority, or commission” employees — to states that allowed businesses the right to refuse services to gay and transgender people. Well, that would teach them to be personal choice advocates. The law carved out a giant swath of places that travelers on the government dime must shun.
Those supporting the bill included then-Attorney General Kamala Harris, the ACLU of California, California Teachers Association, National Center for Lesbian Rights, LGBTQ chapters and verse, and, of course, the Stonewall Democrats of Tulare County. The California bill directly reacted to legislation that Indiana had passed in 2015: the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Indiana state legislature created the law to protect business owners from being sued by members of the LGBTQ community for denial of services – such as making cakes for gay weddings, for example. Then-Governor Mike Pence asked legislators to amend much of it. And that is why Indiana is still able to receive California state business travelers.
North Carolina, however, is on the naughty list for refusing to allow all genders into any public restroom. Shoppers, restaurant-goers, and the like still must utilize the bathroom that conforms to biological sex. As Gaga says, “Baby, you were born that way.”
As with many knee-jerk solutions to the wails of progressives, California, on second thought, modified its widespread anger into something that looks good but doesn’t kill off major public events. Fear not, the outraged yet crafty lawmakers added a lot of exceptions to the complex rules: For example, public college athletic teams can use private money to travel, eat, and stay in those outcast states and brawl away without a problem. Imagine that.
The real catch for Californians is the lack of a way around all those banned states when driving a car, riding a bus, or electric scootering. Eventually, one will likely cross into forbidden territory. Oh, the horror.
~ Read more from Sarah Cowgill.