the land of the free?
In the eyes of the British government, the U.S. may now be a risky destination for LGBT travelers. The British Foreign Office posted a travel advisory update to its website Tuesday warning members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities about anti-LGBT laws passed recently in North Carolina and Mississippi. "The U.S. is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country," the advisory reads. "LGBT travelers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi."
The advisory also provides a map that marks countries around the world — including Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Nicaragua, as well as much of northern Africa and the Middle East — that also have anti-LGBT laws, and includes a few more pieces of travel advice. "Some hotels, especially in rural areas, won't accept bookings from same-sex couples — check before you go," the British government warns, noting that LGBT travelers should also "exercise discretion" in rural areas and avoid "excessive physical shows of affection" when in public.
North Carolina recently passed legislation that limits LGBT protections and bans transgender people from using bathrooms that don't correspond to their gender on their birth certificate. Mississippi's new law allows businesses to refuse LGBT customers service on the grounds of religious objections.