LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend all official travel to Texas and Florida due to highly publicized policies directed at LGBTQ+ youth and families.
The motion by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis called for the suspension of all travel to the states except for instances when failing to authorize such a trip “would seriously harm the county’s interests.”
The move came in response to measures taken in both states that have made headlines.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered that gender-affirming treatments provided to transgender youth be investigated as child abuse. The declaration has led health providers in that state to suspend the treatments. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed into law the Parental Rights in Education Bill, which restricts instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades. Critics have dubbed the measure the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
In their motion, Kuehl and Solis said the Texas 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.”
“… Caregivers who support youth with affirming care should in no way be labeled as abusive,” according to the motion. “This order is discriminatory, harmful and just plain cruel.”
They contend 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.”
Abbott’s declaration last month followed an opinion issued by that state’s attorney general declaring that gender-affirming treatments fall under the category of child abuse under state law. Abbott then ordered the state to investigate any instances of minors undergoing “elective procedures for gender transitioning.”
In Florida, DeSantis has defended that state’s legislation, saying it “showed a commitment to education, not to indoctrination.”
“As the parent of three kids that are aged 5 and under, thank you for letting me and my wife be able to send our kids to kindergarten without them being sexualized,” DeSantis said.