Daugaard calls California travel ban a "publicity generator"

PIERRE, SD (KSFY) - South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is responding to a move by California to prohibit state-funded travel to South Dakota following passage of SB 149.

“These government ‘travel bans’ are political statements that have no discernible effect," Daugaard said Friday. "They are designed to generate publicity.”

California's attorney general made the announcement Thursday that California will prohibit state-funded and state-sponsored travel to South Dakota and three other states based on discriminatory legislation enacted in each state.

The other states added to California's travel restrictions list include Alabama, Kentucky, and Texas.

"Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century. I am announcing today that I am adding four states to the list of states where California-funded or sponsored travel will be restricted on account of the discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states," said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That's why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”

In March, South Dakota enacted a law that could prevent qualified LGBT couples from adopting or serving as foster parents.

California's AB 1887 prohibits state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states with laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or against same-sex couples or their families. The California legislation went into effect on January 1, 2017. This restriction applies to state agencies, departments, boards, authorities, and commissions, including an agency, department, board, authority, or commission of the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California, and the California State University.

In March, the city of San Francisco added South Dakota to a similar ban that bans all city-funded travel and business with any state that passes anti-LGBT legislation. KSFY News Reporter Bridget Bennett visited San Francisco in March and spoke to California State Senator Scott Wiener. He is a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and pushed for the city’s ban on all states with anti-LGBT laws.

“It’s not about being retaliatory or vindictive,” Wiener said in May. “It’s about sending a very clear message about our values and that discrimination is not ok.”