California travel ban over out-of-state LGBT policies keeps team out of NASA rocketry event in Alabama
Collateral damage from California’s culture war against Red States.
California isn’t just at war with Donald Trump. It is conducting a culture war against several red states in the form of Assembly Bill 1887.
The measure prohibits state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Alabama and several other red states Thursday due to laws that could discriminate against the LGBTQ community (e.g., prohibiting adoptions).
Now, a group of California’s real “best and brightest” are collateral damage in the Golden State culture war.
The Citrus College Rocket Owls were one of 60 school teams invited to Huntsville to compete in NASA Student Launch Program in April. Groups from 23 states are competing in the 18th annual event in which teams design, build, test and fly a high-altitude reusable rocket.
Despite their invite, Citrus College, a community college located outside Los Angeles, won’t be attending. Last year, California announced it was banning publicly funded travel to Alabama and seven other states due to laws that could discriminate against the LGBTQ community. In Alabama’s case, it was a law that allows adoption agencies to follow faith-based policies, which includes not placing children with same-sex couples.
Homer Hickam, the famous Huntsville author and rocket scientist, whose October Sky is an inspiration to many young students, challenges the assertion that this is a state funded trip. Additionally, reports indicate college administrators are re-interpreting the rules to prevent the team from heading to Alabama.
“I discovered that these kids had raised their own funds. They weren’t going to use public funds. They were going to use their own funds. Looking at it some more, I saw that there were a number of University of California rocket teams who were coming because they had raised their own funds as well,” [Hickam] said.
Austin Langrehr, the team leader of the Citrus College Rocket Owls, said the team being denied traveling to Huntsville for the NASA SL competition started with California Law AB1887.
“However, Eloy Oakley, the chancellor of California community colleges, sent out a memo last August saying that students and faculty of community colleges could not travel to the banned states ‘regardless of funding.’ We had already raised the private funds needed to travel, but the school would not permit us to go,” he said.
“The chancellor later came out and said that his office has not denied the Rocket Owls from going and it is ultimately up to Citrus College’s administration to decide whether we can travel or not. The school, namely the acting president Dr. Perri and the acting vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Spor, have stood by the decision to not allow our travel and have not budged after multiple petitions to allow our travel.”
The other states in this ban are Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee or Texas. Sports teams are also feeling the effects, and now a sensible California lawmaker has introduced Assembly Bill 2389 to allow California colleges to use taxpayer money for athletic and academic trips to the banned states.
“I don’t think we should have a situation where California is boycotting parts of the United States,” said Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach. …
“Who is going to want to be a member of a (state university) team if they can’t compete against the best because the state Legislature has decided for political reasons that they can’t travel to some states?” Harper said. “It goes across the board and impacts all sports.”
My son in an aspiring physicist, who is weighing aeronautic engineering as a potential field. He would love to attend the NASA competition, so political stunts like this mean that colleges outside of California which don’t have insane social justice travel bans must be strongly considered.
I won’t be the only parent making this calculation, either.
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They can compete in Mexico. It is more to their liking.
They should walk out of school as undocumented students that head to Alabama
If they have the funds, why can’t they just go?
Miss a few classes? It’s worth it!
I notice they don’t have any females on their rocket team. California is so sexist.
How do you know that they don’t identify as female?
The red states could care less, but I feel sorry for the students.
Hmmm, why do the students believe they need to get the college’s permission to travel to Huntsville, AL using their own money? Why don’t they simply hop on a plane and go there?
Yeah, fight the man!
Do they HAVE to represent the college in the tournament? Can’t they go as a private group?
I understand a California schools went to Kansas for the basketball tournament. somehow they found a workaround
Who cares? Only liberals and other insane people care what Californians do. It is not known as the Cereal State [home of the fruits, the flakes and the nuts] for nothing.
The best move for residents of the state who do not match that description is to move out of the state.
“However, Eloy Oakley, the chancellor of California community colleges, sent out a memo last August saying that students and faculty of community colleges could not travel to the banned states ‘regardless of funding.’
I don’t understand this sentence. Are they confined?
This is what communism looks like. Exactly what they are fighting for.
I used to patrol the East German border in the Fulda Gap. The border obstacles there would have made Trump proud. But there’s a huge difference between that wall and any prospective wall at the Mexican border – the border I patrolled was barricaded to keep people in. It seems Kalifornia has a similar, although invisible, barrier. Shame on them and shame on their bureaucrats and legislators who are no better than the Stasi.
Could states use some reciprocity laws?
How can a college, or any other state institution prohibit a citizen from travel?
The loony liberals have found a way.
Citrus College is pretty much a high school with ashtrays. Oh wait, no ashtrays in California…
My son is actually a rocket scientist, but since his MSAE is from a California university, I guess it no longer counts. To the young men involved, grow a pair, get on the plane and let the chips fall where they may.
WOW, this sucks! Ummm….not so much perhaps! I just love watching liberals shooting themselves in the foot. If any state in the union deserved a big dose of socialism, it’s California.
On the bright side for California, any day now those non-conforming states are going to buckle under the withering pressure of California’s travel ban, and change their laws.
Assuming they’re even aware that California Dimocrats are mad at them.
“The chancellor later came out and said that his office has not denied the Rocket Owls from going and it is ultimately up to Citrus College’s administration to decide whether we can travel or not.”
No. It is not. According to this article, these students have raised their own funds for travel expenses. No state funds will be used to fund their trip.
The anti-science, anti-commerce, anti-education Assembly Bill 1887 from the intolerant loons in Sacramento doesn’t apply to these students.
Oh, that ‘state sponsored’ thing? All that is required is for the students to self-identify as US citizens with the constitutional right of association, declare their rocketry lab a sanctuary lab, then spend their own private funds to board a plane to Alabama.
With a great big middle finger salute toward the intolerant loons in Sacramento.
California prizes sexual perversion over education! This comes as no surprise!
Another wonderful law by the nut house in Sacto…
They’re getting the government they (or their parents) voted for.
I’m so sick of their pagan religion that glorifies wrong behaviour. Honestly, when is Californica just gonna crash and burn. Can’t be soon enough in my book.
What a bunch of fascists in California. Liberals love the government ruling lives.