Opinion: California travel ban exposes hypocrisy

Posted on Sep 15 2017 - 8:00am by Matthew Dean

In the midst of what have undoubtedly been a very dramatic few months, one major piece of news never quite broke out as it should have. California is winning the moral scavenger hunt.

In the highest reaches of Californian state government, people are quickly finding chance after chance to remind you that they are morally upstanding members of the universe. Unfortunately, Californian leadership has still been unable to find a brain. However, in the race for virtue-signaling supremacy, having a brain will only slow you down.

What in the world am I on about?

Well, Attorney General of California Xavier Becerra recently decided that Texas, Alabama and South Dakota were just too homophobic for California to pay for its state employees to travel to. Those three states were written down in California’s death note, and state-funded travel to and from was forbidden.

Mississippi was already on that list, in case you were wondering.

The decision came after these three states passed laws California decided were discriminatory toward LGBT individuals. Visualize the infected from “28 Days Later,” and you have an idea how these Californians look as they sprint toward the opportunity to showboat what good people they are.

Now here’s the catch: I actually don’t like the laws those three states enacted. However, if I thought they were such major human rights violations to the point that I would hypothetically do what the attorney general of California did, I would at least try to be consistent.

So to all you public policy leadership majors eyeing political careers in the sunny state of California, save your tuition money and simply remember: A ban of state-funded travel to our own states is a good thing if we don’t agree with some of those states’ laws. In the words of Becerra, “There are consequences to discrimination!”

However, what about a travel ban on countries such as Iraq, where people are at risk of being killed by vigilantes for “looking gay”? Or Syria, where being gay can land you in prison for three years? Or Yemen, where homosexual marriage between men is seen as worthy of execution? In the words of Becerra, that is “un-American!”

Even better, shortly beforehand, the governor of California decided to enter into a climate change agreement with China, where gay relationships are considered equal to incest and are prohibited from being depicted on television. Because what says “patriotism” better than canoodling with one of our biggest geopolitical rivals, right?

Celebrity activists like Susan Sarandon would argue that dealing with China is a necessary evil. They have a lot of solar panels! We have to save the planet! Well, to that, I say: Sarandon hasn’t been in a decent movie since 1991. So can we really trust her judgment on an issue like this?

Believe it or not, I did not get to sit in on the closed-door meeting between Gov. Jerry Brown and Chairman, whoops, President Xi Jinping, and I have not read the deal itself, but something tells me there were no clauses about having China move to recognize same-sex marriages or recognize other basic legal protections for homosexuals. At least President Obama might have strongly condemned them first.

It seems to me the leaders of California would rather pat themselves on the back for saving a few trees than put forth the effort to at least be consistent in their feigned moral outrages.

Matthew Dean is a senior criminal justice major from Possumneck.