The LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education organization has approved, by a board vote, a boycott of states that have passed legislation discriminating against gay and transgender individuals.
The organization will not hold board or membership meetings in such states or conduct its Leadership Institute training in any state that targets LGBTQ+ people, according to a news release.
LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education and its subsidiary organization, LGBTQ Leaders in Higher Education, will boycott states with laws that “discriminate against trans youth and their families; prohibit curriculum, speech, and library materials about gender identities and sexuality; or prohibit curriculum, speech, and library materials about racial discrimination as it exists now and historically.”
States mentioned specifically include Florida and Texas, both of which have made national headlines recently.
In Florida, the controversial bill that critics call “Don’t Say Gay” aims to limit discussion of LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 schools, specifically banning classroom instruction on such matters for younger students. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has told state agencies to investigate parents who support transitioning youth, leveraging state resources to pursue families for making personal health decisions.
Though Florida and Texas are the only two states mentioned by name, numerous others have enacted or introduced laws banning trans youth from participating in sports or banning books and other educational materials that focus on issues of gender identity, sexuality and race.
The organization notes it last met in a state affected by the boycott—Florida—in 2013.
“Our small, but quickly growing organizations will not provide any tourist and hospitality business to U.S. states that silence students, teachers, and parents who wish to learn about social justice for people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals and families,” the co-chair of LGBTQ Presidents, Erika A. Endrijonas, president and superintendent of Pasadena City College in California, said in a statement.
Endrijonas added that California state employees are already prohibited from using public funds to travel to certain states based on policies that discriminate against LGBTQ individuals.