Photo Credit: TN
LA County Bans Official Travel To Texas And Florida In Response To Their Policies Toward Transgender Youth
Recent controversial policies carried out by Texas and Florida targeting transgender youth received a response from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this Tuesday as they voted unanimously to ban official travel to those states. According to LA County’s board members, those two states’ orders violate the best practices to support transgender minors.
“The deeply harmful impacts that this order will bring about cannot be overstated. Such an order flies in the face of all that we know about best practices when it comes to supporting children and young adults to discover who they are and feel secure in their sense of self,” said the motion issued by the LA County Board of Supervisors.
In March, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared that medical procedures for treating gender-affirming transgender youth should be investigated as child abuse. However, in March, a Texas judge temporarily blocked the state from investigating parents for such conduct. The case is now in the Texas Supreme Court which could soon decide whether the state can resume investigations into the parents of transgender youth.
“Governor Abbott’s order perpetuates damaging ideas about trans and gender-nonconforming youth and seeks to punish parents who are trying to do right by their children. LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in the child welfare system in part because they experience family rejection due to their identities. Caregivers who support youth with affirming care should in no way be labeled as abusive. This order is discriminatory, harmful, and just plain cruel,” BOS commented.
The motion pointed out that the suspension of all travel to the States of Texas and Florida for the conduct of County business will only have an exception if the Chief Executive Officer determines that the failure to authorize such travel would seriously harm the County’s interests, saying that ‘this ban is to be lifted upon the suspension of either of the bills or orders above.’
The state of Florida, which was also included in the ban for official travels, was mentioned in the motion because of its ‘The Parental Rights in Education’ bill also known as “Don’t Say Gay” bill, signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. According to the BOS, the law ‘will perpetuate a culture of bullying, secrecy, shame, and fear’ if passed.’
For BOS, “The ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill forbids discussions over gender identity and sexual orientation as well as other similar topics in classrooms across the state.
“The kind of school environment imagined in this legislation is one that is uncomfortable, unsafe, unwelcoming, and toxic for all students and staff alike, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ+. Schools should be spaces that foster open discussion, critical thinking, meaningful engagement, and the safe exploration of ideas.”
BOS emphasized that the travel ban order is not about protecting transgender children. “It is about denying their existence and cutting off access to life-saving treatment. Transphobia and homophobia are the driving factors behind this effort and others like it across the country,” BOS stated.
The directive does not apply to private citizens.