LGBT Travelers Warned Against Traveling To Some US States That Undermine Their Rights
The United Kingdom Foreign Office has advised members of its LGBT community planning to travel to North Carolina and Mississippi to observe a set of rules to avoid any legal problems. The two states have recently passed laws which discriminate the community.
Metro said the Foreign Office has made a list of what Brit travelers should observe when they go to these areas. "Excessive physical shows of affection, by both same-sex and heterosexual couples, are often best avoided in public," read one of the advisories.
It also advised LGBT members to just ignore people giving comments or unwelcome remarks about them. "You're more likely to experience difficulties in rural areas so it's best to exercise discretion," the office added.
According to CNN, North Carolina has passed the so-called "bathroom" law (HB2) which prohibits people from using comfort rooms which do not correspond to their sex at birth. The same state also does not have legislations that protect the LGBT from discrimination.
On the other hand, Mississippi has a new law that gives businesses the discretion to refuse gay people depending on their religious beliefs. CNN said the legislation will take effect this July and will protect businesses from being punished despite discriminating acts.
The UK's Foreign Office expressed concern that these laws may affect visiting Brits in the United States. "The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country," read the Foreign Office's statement quoted by Snopes. It recommended all LGBT travelers to read their advisory and check online sources about LGBT issues in the US prior to their scheduled travels.
Asked for a reaction on the advisory, US Human Rights Campaign director Ty Cobb tagged it as "embarrassing" saying that these legislations are hurting the reputation and economy of the United States. "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," Cobb told Metro.