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Britain Warns LGBT Citizens About Travel to North Carolina, Mississippi

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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Toni Ann Booras Contributor
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The British Foreign Office issued a travel advisory Tuesday to warn lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens traveling to North Carolina and Mississippi they “may be affected” by new laws related to transgender service and bathroom use.

“The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country,” the advisory reads. “LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.”

The advisory is posted under the “local laws and customs” section of the Foreign Office’s USA foreign travel advice page, and refers travelers to its own guide of general travel advice for the LGBT community. It also suggests a visit to the Human Rights Campaign website for more on LGBT issues in the U.S.

Last month, North Carolina passed a law requiring transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificates, and Mississippi passed a law allowing businesses to refuse service to gay or transgender customers for religious reasons.

“It is both frightening and embarrassing that one of our nation’s staunchest allies has warned its citizens to of the risks of traveling to North Carolina and Mississippi because of anti-LGBT laws passed by their elected officials,” Ty Cobb, Human Rights Campaign global director, said in a statement.

Several cities and states, including New York and Washington, D.C., have banned non-essential government travel to North Carolina and some performers such as Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam have cancelled planned concerts there. The law has cost North Carolina more than $3 million in lost business, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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