I've never desired to travel to the Middle East because first I am an American and second because I am gay. I often see travel advisories pop up on the news and I shake my head in agreement. Damn right I'm not going there.
But now another nation is warning its LGBT citizens about travel to the United States.
The Foreign Office has issued new guidelines for British people travelling to US states with anti-LGBT laws.
Previously, LGBT people were warned to “take care abroad” but there was no direct advice for travellers visiting the US until now.
The new advice reads: “The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. Laws vary from state to state.
“When you are physically present in a state, even temporarily, you are subject to that state’s laws. You must carry a passport showing that you have leave to enter or remain with you at all times.
“LGBT travellers may be affected by legislations passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.”
The Foreign Office also directs LGBT tourists to the Human Rights Campaign website to get more information on visiting the US.
Both North Carolina and Mississippi have recently passed controversial anti-LGBT laws, which prompted the Foreign Office to make the change in guidelines.
North Carolina’s recently passed bill renders all non-discrimination ordinances across the state void, effectively legalising discrimination towards LGBT people, and also bans trans people from using their preferred bathrooms.
Meanwhile, Mississippi have passed their own anti-LGBT bill, which protects businesses and individuals who refuse to offer service to same-sex couples on the basis of ‘religious objections’.
Matt Horwood of Stonewall said: “What’s happened in Mississippi and North Carolina proves that equality is never secure. It’s positive to see the UK government recognise this need and update its travel advice pages accordingly.” – gaytimes.co.uk
I don't know about you, but I find this downright embarrassing! I wasn't alive back in the day, but I am not sure the UK even gave such warnings when lynching African-Americans was prevalent in the deep south. We should be ashamed as a nation about this poor image some of our states are making our country have.
Sorry Mississippi, North Carolina, and other backwards states. Just add tourist dollars to the tally of money you will be losing because of your laws.