Thursday, April 21, 2016

 

British officials warn travelers about anti-LGBT laws in the US

It’s not unusual for governments around the world to occasionally issue travel advisories to their citizens, letting them know important information before they take a trip abroad. So, for example, if a country is dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease, the U.S. government would urge American travelers to be aware of these concerns before visiting. The same goes for countries where personal security might be a concern.

With this in mind, it’s discouraging when one of our closest allies feels the need to warn some of its citizens about possibly facing discrimination while visiting the United States. The Washington Post reported yesterday:
The British Foreign Office has released an advisory warning travelers to be aware of controversial new laws in North Carolina and Mississippi before visiting the United States.

The travel advisory update – directed to members of the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community – was posted on the Foreign Office’s website Tuesday.
The travel advisory, which is available online here, reminds British travelers, “The US 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 travelling please read our general travel advice for the LGBT community.”

And if you check the general travel advice for the LGBT community, it reminds British travelers that some hotels, “especially in rural areas, won’t accept bookings from same sex couples – check before you go.”

I imagine North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) never saw any of this coming.

And speaking of the Tar Heel State, the fallout from North Carolina’s HB2 is clearly not fading away. Another conference scheduled Charlotte in August was canceled this week, and the NBA’s commissioner said this morning that if the discrimination law isn’t repealed, “the 2017 All-Star Game would have to be moved from Charlotte.”

I continue to believe North Carolina Republicans can repeal the measure, blame the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and leave this ugly mess behind them. Whether they’ll take advantage of that opportunity is unclear.

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