Texas responds to California LGBT travel ban, saying Golden State firms ‘fleeing over taxation and regulation’

A day after California officials said they are banning state workers from traveling to Texas on official business, an aide to Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott returned a verbal volley claiming mistreatment of businesses.

On Thursday, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Texas and three other states were being put on a list of states that had adopted laws seen by Becerra as discriminatory to the LGBT community and therefore were off-limits for state-sponsored travel.

That drew a response Friday from John Wittman, Abbott’s press secretary.

“California may be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas,” Wittman said.

Becerra put Texas on the travel-ban list after the governor signed HB 3859 last week. The new law allows foster care agencies to deny adoptions and services to children and parents based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Becerra said the measure allows agencies to discriminate against children in foster care and potentially disqualify LGBT families from the state’s foster and adoption system.

“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,” Becerra said.