The United Kingdom is warning British travelers to the U.S. against possible LGBT discrimination because of recent laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi.
The U.K.’s Foreign Office updated its online foreign travel advice for the U.S. to say that “attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country.” The warning called out the two Southern states by name for swiftly passing anti-LGBT laws that could restrict access to basic goods and service based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Human Rights Campaign director Ty Cobb called the travel warning “both frightening and embarrassing” coming from “one of our nation’s staunchest allies.”
To put this travel warning in perspective, the U.S. is the only member country of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that the U.K. has issued such a specific, regional warning for LGBT travelers. The only other NATO allies out of the 28-member group to carry slight warnings for LGBT travelers are Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Even then, the Foreign Office merely cautions that the LGBT communities in these countries keep a “low profile.”