Wednesday, July 8, 2020
California Bans Travel to Idaho for Some
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Idaho’s hospitality industry, which has already taken a brutal hit because of the pandemic, could lose millions more dollars because of Idaho’s new anti-transgender law.

Ilana Rubel, an Idaho legislator from Boise, warned Monday that California does not allow taxpayer dollars to pay for travel to states that discriminate against LGBTQ Americans. And Idaho just landed on the Golden State’s banned travel list because of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.

This means that California’s public universities will not be able to send football players to play the Boise State University Broncos. They will not be able to send debate teams to University of Idaho tourneys. And conference and convention planners may be reluctant to choose Idaho for events because California state employees won’t be able to come.

Professional and collegiate athletes, including tennis player Billie Jean King, are already asking NCAA officials to move the first and second rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament out of Boise. That could cost $15 million in lost business, said Rubel.

“Our hospitality industry was already hit brutally by the coronavirus pandemic,” Rubel said. “The very last thing our hotels and restaurants need right now is this devastating and totally unnecessary blow dealt by Idaho’s own legislature.”

The law, which bans transgender women from competing on women’s sports teams sponsored by colleges, universities and public schools, takes effect July 1. It is the first such law in the nation. It’s currently being challenged as unconstitutional in federal court.

 

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