In a rather unprecedented move considering the ‘special relationship’ between the U.K. and U.S., the British Foreign Office amended the travel notice for the U.S. warning LGBT travelers of risks.
Such legislation made headline in the past few months, commonly referred to as the ‘Bathroom Law’ among others.
An article in The Telegraph covered the matter yesterday (access it here).
The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for the United States, warning gay and transgender travellers to be careful in the US due to legislation in North Carolina and Mississippi.
Newly-passed laws in both states allow businesses to refuse service to LGBT people, and the so-called “bathroom law” – a ruling that transgender people must use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender on their birth certificate – has sparked waves of protest and business boycotts.
The travel advise (see original source here) reads:
“The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes toward LGBT people differ hugely across the country,” the update states. “LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi. Before travelling please read our general travel advice for the LGBT community. You can find more detail on LGBT issues in the US on the website of the Human Rights Campaign.”
The Human Right Campaign issued a statement in the matter:
Ty Cobb of the Human Rights Campaign described it as “both frightening and embarrassing that one of our nation’s staunchest allies has warned its citizens of the risks” of travelling to the US.
He added: “It is now more clear than ever that these terrible measures are not only harming individuals and taking an economic toll on the states, but are also causing serious damage to our nation’s reputation, and the perceived safety of LGBT people who travel here.”
There are plenty of countries that are known for restrictive laws pointed towards LGBT population some of which include Russia, Saudi Arabia and in fact most of the Middle East countries.
The travel notice under ‘Local Laws * Customs’ of the Foreign Office for the U.S. is short but still this column takes up a rather large part of it which is indeed quite embarrassing for a civilized country to be regarded in such a manner.