Bill Prohibits State-Sponsored Travel to Certain States Without Protections Against Discrimination Based On Sex, Gender Identity Or Expression And Affectional Or Sexual Orientation
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Tim Eustace and Reed Gusciora to prohibit state-sponsored travel to certain states without protections against discrimination based on sex, gender identity or expression and affectional or sexual orientation continues to advance in the legislature with recent approval by a Senate panel.
“Discriminatory and hateful policies simply do not govern in accordance with New Jersey’s long-standing belief in fairness and justice for all people regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This legislation builds upon our strong commitment to equal treatment and stanch denunciation of policies that threaten both the liberty of individuals and the overall progress of this nation.”
Under the bill, as amended, any department, division, office, board, bureau, commission, authority, or other instrumentality of the State of New Jersey, or state-funded public institutions of higher education, would be prohibited from approving a request for travel to be paid out of state funds or sponsored by the state, to any state of the United States that has adopted a law to (1) prohibit a local jurisdiction from establishing protections against discrimination based on sex, gender identity or expression, and affectional or sexual orientation in the areas of public accommodations, employment, housing, and in the provision of goods or services to the public; or to (2) permit a person to cite a religious belief as the basis for denying public accommodations, employment, housing, or goods or services to a member of the public on account of the member’s sex, gender identity or expression, and affectional or sexual orientation.
“Travel to states that allow government-sanctioned discrimination is not in any way a reflection of how New Jersey taxpayers – who believe that everyone has a right to be treated with respect – want their hard-earned money to be spent,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “Our state has been a pioneer in protecting the civil rights and liberties of all people, and this legislation reaffirms our commitment to standing against bigotry of any kind in any place.”
The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee released the bill on May 5. The measure was approved by the Assembly in April, 54-17-1.