U.K. Issues Travel Warning Over U.S. Anti-LGBT Laws

North Carolina’s and Mississippi’s recent anti-LGBT legislation has prompted the U.K.’s Foreign Office to issue a travel warning. The warning is aimed at LGBT nationals traveling to the U.S. It warns them of the risks associated with visiting these states.

The new warning states:

“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.”

This is the first time the U.K. has made any direct reference to problems for LGBT travelers to the U.S.

The president of the Human Rights Campaign issued a statement in response, saying:

“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 clear more 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…”

Neither governor has commented on the travel warning.

Such warnings from U.S. allies are certainly a huge embarrassment, and the timing could not have been worse. The warning was issued just days before President Obama’s upcoming visit to the U.K.

Such travel warnings will to lead to a greater decline in tourism to North Carolina and Mississippi, and possibly the rest of the US. This will continue to harm the global status of these states and deter foreign travel and investment.

Foreign and domestic investment in these states has already been harmed by the new laws. Germany’s Deutsche Bank recently cancelled plans to expand facilities in North Carolina in protest.

The U.K. travel warning is just another part of the growing backlash towards North Carolina’s and Mississippi’s anti-LGBT laws. There is a good chance more countries will follow suit.

Featured image is by Nick Page, available under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.