California’s Attorney General enforces travel ban to South Carolina – yet turns a blind eye to governor’s trip to El Salvador

Raul Riesgo
Public relations expert featured on Spanish language news outlets Telemundo and Mundo Fox News discussing both political and Latino community issues. He has also been a news reporter for two Los Angeles area newspapers.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced April 2 that he was extending California’s ban on taxpayer-funded trips to the State of South Carolina, saying it allows private faith-based groups to withhold adoption services over moral objections, effectively permitting discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Well and good, but why is the AG going silent about Governor Newsom’s junket to El Salvador, a country which actively discriminates against LGBTQ people? The country also deals harshly with women, not just banning abortion but vigorously prosecuting it regardless of the female’s age, whether she’s a victim of rape or incest, or to save her life.

The travel ban became law January 1, 2017. In enacting it, the Legislature stated California must take action to avoid financing or supporting discrimination against LGBTQ people and that it would be the state’s policy to promote fairness and equality and combat discrimination. The 2017 legislation notes that a state becomes subject to the travel ban if since mid-2015 it has enacted a law voiding or repealing, or having the effect of voiding or repealing, existing state or local protections against discrimination of LGBTQ people.

The travel ban does allow for certain exceptions, but only if the travel is “required,” such as for enforcement of California law, job training required for licensure, or complying with federal requests to appear before committees.

The governor’s trip to El Salvador does none of those.

Obviously El Salvador is a sovereign state, not a U.S. one, but with laws on the books banning same-sex marriage, same-sex civil unions and adoption by same-sex couples, it meets more than enough of the criteria falling under California’s travel ban. It definitely meets more of the criteria than does South Carolina.

Not to be too cynical, but it seems that the governor is too focused on being actively anti-Trump or is laying down what he hopes will be his path to the presidency. Gavin, it has only been a few months since you became governor of California, so how about keeping eyes on the needs of the people in this state and not those in other countries?

While the travel ban is intended to ban state trips and the El Salvador excursion is funded by the California State Protocol Foundation, a non-profit set up for travel, funded by special interests, there are staff on the trip being paid by the state.

Will Attorney General Becerra say something to the governor? Discrimination is discrimination, and if you set up our state as the arbiter of moral values, then stick to it. After all, hypocrisy is hypocrisy, even when – and especially when – practiced by the political elites who sanctimoniously tell us how we should think and live.

Raul Riesgo is a commentator who has been featured on Spanish language news outlets Telemundo and Mundo Fox News discussing both political and Latino community issues. He has written a book on the development of the city of Pico Rivera, that was featured on CNN’s “Latino’s in America”series.

Comment on this article


Please note, statements and opinions expressed on the Fox&Hounds Blog are solely those of their respective authors and may not represent the views of Fox&Hounds Daily or its employees thereof. Fox&Hounds Daily is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the site's bloggers.