The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this week to ban official travel to the states of Florida and Texas due to policies and laws targeting the treatment of transgender youth and the teaching of LGBT issues in schools.
On Tuesday, the board unanimously approved a movement directing the chief executive to suspend all travel to the two states for county business until the policies are suspended or repealed, according to video from the board meeting.
Hilda Solis, a board supervisor who sponsored the motion, said: “It was really scary what is happening in our country,” adding that members of her family are part of the LGBT community.
” These young ones [are] are trying to live the best of their lives, and we deprive them of that when we impose these kinds of mandates,” Solis said. “I’m just glad I don’t plan on going to Texas or Florida anytime soon.”
Specifically, the petition cites an order by Texas Governor Greg Abbott (right) that directed the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents or guardians of transgender youth who received affirming care of gender.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (D) previously said puberty blockers and other treatments for transgender youth amounted to “child abuse”.
“The profoundly harmful impacts this order will cause cannot be overstated,” said the motion, drafted by Solis and Sheila Kuehl. “Such an order goes against everything we know about best practice when it comes to helping children and young adults discover who they are and feel secure in who they are.”
The motion also cited a law signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) last month, dubbed the Parental Rights in Education Act, also known to critics as the ‘Don’t Say Bill. Gay,” which prohibits discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
Republicans argue that parents, not classroom teachers, should discuss these topics with their young children.
According to Tuesday’s motion, Los Angeles County lawmakers have opposed both policies as “transphobia and homophobia” take hold in some conservative states across the country.
County lawmakers said the Florida law “will perpetuate a culture of intimidation, secrecy, shame and fear.”
Abbott’s directive is stalled in court after a Texas judge voted to block the state from enforcing the order. In Florida, LGBT groups are suing the new law.
Other states are introducing increasingly restrictive laws targeting the LGBT community, including Alabama, which on Friday criminalized gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary youth.
Los Angeles County’s ban will apply until policies are suspended or revoked in Florida and Texas or until the “county’s chief executive determines that not allowing such travel would seriously harm the interests of the county”.