California Gov. Gavin Newsom this week signed a bill to repeal a law that banned publicly-funded travel to states with laws that discriminate “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
Newsom signed the BRIDGE Project on Wednesday, a move that officially repealed a 2016 law that barred state-funded travel to 26 states, a move that impacted college professors and elected officials. The bill passed the state Senate on Tuesday by a vote of 31-6 and the state Assembly on Monday by a vote of 64-12.
“In the face of a rising tide of anti-LGBTQ+ hate, this measure helps California’s message of acceptance, equality and hope reach the places where it is most needed,” Newsom said in a statement.
California state Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, a Democrat and the first openly LGBTQ person to hold the office in the state’s history, sponsored the bill to repeal the ban. She previously argued that the 2016 bill ended up unintentionally isolating vulnerable people in those 26 states.
“Today, we are sending a message to the rest of the nation — here in California, we embrace one another, not in spite of our differences, but because of them. And we are ready to reach across the aisle, and across state lines, to help open hearts and minds, and support our LGBTQ+ youth and communities who are feeling so alone,” Atkins said in a statement.
“There’s so much hate, so much hurt, so much harm being inflicted on people who are just trying to live their authentic lives,” she added. “The BRIDGE Project is a chance to counter that with kindness and empathy, and I’m grateful to Governor Newsom for swiftly signing this bill into law, and to my colleagues in both parties who voted for it. We will be the bridge to a more understanding and compassionate nation.”
Theodore Bunker ✉
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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