FIE - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed suit against the state of California seeking to strike down California's travel ban to states with policies it says are discriminatory.

Texas recently was added to California's list, now totaling 11 states, after allowing faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to decline placement based on their religious beliefs.

Assembly Bill 1887 is California's "action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people." The California Attorney General's website says the state is in support of religious freedom as a mainstay of American policy, but religious freedom should not be a justification for discrimination. It states that California is a leader in protecting civil rights and preventing discrimination.

"Texas respects and honors the religious beliefs of its citizens. California lawmakers do not," a news release from Paxton's office says. "As a co-author of California’s travel ban admitted, they see religious beliefs as nothing more than 'code to discriminate against different people'.”

The state of Texas partners with a variety of agencies who provide safe homes to children in need of care. California's opposition to child placement policies in Texas "divide the nation and demonstrate a disregard for the safety and well-being of Texas children," Paxton says.

“California is attempting to punish Texans for respecting the right of conscience for foster care and adoption providers," Paxton continued. "And as the U.S. Supreme Court said recently in upholding the religious liberty of artist Jack Phillips, disparaging religious beliefs like the California Legislature did here, ‘as merely rhetorical – something insubstantial and even insincere,’ is inappropriate for any entity charged with enacting fair and neutral laws."

Paxton says that boycotting states based on political disagreements "breaks down the ability of states to serve as laboratories of democracy while still working together as one nation – the very thing our Constitution intended to prevent.”