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UK Government Issues Guidelines for People Traveling to US States With Anti-LGBT Laws

The U.K. Foreign Office issued new guidelines for British people traveling to North Carolina and Mississippi – two U.S. states that have introduced anti-LGBT laws.

The U.K. Foreign Office issued the travel advice on its website saying: “The U.S. is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. LGBT travelers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.

“Before traveling 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.”

Following the U.K.’s statement Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global said: “It is both frightening and embarrassing that one of our nation’s staunchest allies has warned its citizens of the risks of traveling to North Carolina and Mississippi because of anti-LGBT laws passed by their elected officials.

“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.”

Dr Felicity Daly, director of the LGBT Kaleidoscope Trust said: “It is heartening the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is becoming more LGBT responsive in their work, it’s a good sign as it is an important issue in the U.K., but most people who identify as LGBT in the U.K. will already be aware of the nature of certain states.”

What Happened

In April, North Carolina became the first U.S. State to require transgender people to use restrooms and locker rooms in schools and other public facilities, including airports, which match their sex at birth rather than their gender identity.

In Mississippi, the so-called “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act” allows religious organizations to refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples for provision of critical services including emergency shelter and to refuse to sell or rent a for-profit home to an LGBT person.

Major corporations including Apple, American Airlines, Bank of America, Pepsi, PayPal, IBM and the NBA all condemn the new anti-LGBT law.

A growing number of musicians including Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam have also cancelled concerts in North Carolina.

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