Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to suspend official travel to Texas and Florida because of recent laws and policies directed at LGBTQ youth and families.
According to City News Service, the motion calls for suspension of all travel unless failure to allow such a trip “would seriously harm the county’s interests.”
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate families with transgender children who permit them to undergo certain gender-affirming procedures.
The order followed a non-binding opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stating that certain procedures, including a regimen of puberty blockers, constitute child abuse under state law. A court has blocked enforcement of Abbott’s directive pending trial.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis in March signed a bill critics refer to as “Don’t Say Gay.” The law forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, a policy that has drawn intense national scrutiny from critics who argue it marginalizes LGBTQ people.
DeSantis and other Republicans have repeatedly said the measure is reasonable and that parents, not teachers, should be broaching subjects of sexual orientation and gender identity with their children.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick earlier this week vowed to make legislation similar to Florida’s law a priority during the 2023 legislative session.
In their motion, Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis said Abbott’s 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.”
The two additionally said the Florida law will “perpetuate a culture of bullying, secrecy, shame and fear.”
“Schools should be spaces that foster open discussion, critical thinking, meaningful engagement and the safe exploration of ideas,” they wrote. “The implementation of this bill would create an atmosphere that stifles such a culture and stifles learning itself.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.