The leadership of SSE, ASN, and SSB have agreed to avoid scheduling the joint annual meeting in states subject to California Assembly Bill 1887, which prohibits state-funded travel to states with discriminatory policies. The following letter was sent to legislators in each of the eight states listed in the bill, which can be read here.
We are writing as the Presidents of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), nationwide organizations of professional and student biologists. Together we hold an annual five-day meeting, which in recent years has attracted more than 1700 attendees to cities such as Portland, OR, Austin, TX, and Raleigh, NC.
The Executive Councils of SSE, SSB, and ASN have decided to avoid holding this conference in states which are subject to California’s Assembly Bill 1887. This bill prohibits state-required travel to any state that has “enacted a law that (1) has the effect of voiding or repealing existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; (2) authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; or (3) creates an exemption to anti-discrimination laws in order to permit discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
Unfortunately, this ban currently includes your state. We regret therefore that we will not be considering cities in your state for the location of our annual conference as long as such laws are in place. We hope you will consider this in future decision-making.
President, Society for the Study of Evolution
President, Society of Systematic Biologists
President, American Society of Naturalists