Canada issued a warning to the LGBTQ+ community not to travel to the United States due to anti-LGBTQ laws that have been passed. Here’s the full story.
Don’t Travel to the United States
Canada warned members of the LGBTQ+ community of a travel advisory issued due to new laws in the United States that may negatively affect them.
Check Local Laws
The travel advisory did not specifically mention which states not to visit, but suggested travelers “check the local laws for their destination before traveling.”
US Laws Have Changed
Global Affairs spokesman, Jeremie Berube, said in an emailed statement that “Since the beginning of 2023, certain states in the US have passed laws banning drag shows and restricting the transgender community from access to gender-affirming care and from participation in sporting events.”
Laws Could Be Very Different
Berube wanted to make sure Canadians knew that outside of Canada the laws related to “sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics” could be very different.
Advice From Professionals
When asked about the recent LGBTQ+ travel advisory, Canadian Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the decision was based on “advice from professionals” who constantly monitor these particular dangers.
For the Safety of Canadians
Freeland said, “Every Canadian government needs to put at the center of everything we do the interests – and the safety – of every single Canadian and every single group of Canadians.”
State of Emergency for the LGBTQ+ Community
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest US-based organization that fights for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans. Earlier in the year they declared a “state of emergency” for LGBTQ+ people living in the US.
New Restrictions in Florida
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law new restrictions on drag shows, gender-affirming care for minors, bathroom usage, and which pronouns can be used in schools.
New Law in Arkansas
In Arkansas, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a new law that prohibits transgender students at public schools from using the restroom that matches their gender identity.
Canada’s travel advisory for the LGBTQ+ community was criticized by some, and praised by others.
A Professor Disagrees
A political science professor at the University of Toronto said, “In no US state, to my knowledge, has any government charged or discriminated against a LGBTQ+ traveler because of their sexual identity or orientation.”
It’s Supposed to Be About Real Threats
Canada’s former ambassador to China, David Mulroney, criticized the travel advisory. He said that travel advisories are “meant to highlight things that threaten the safety of Canadian travelers, not things the government and its supporters disagree with.”
Mulroney tweeted that travel advisories are about “danger signaling, not virtue signaling.”
Pleased With the Travel Advisory
Helen Kennedy is the executive director of a LGBTQ+ rights group in Toronto. She was pleased with the travel advisory and commended the Canadian government for looking out for the LGBTQ+ community.
Not a Good Look for the US
Kennedy said that with “500 anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation making their way through various state legislatures” wasn’t a “good image” for the United States.
Check on Canada, Too
In Canada, similar policies have been enacted which now require parental consent when children under the age of 16 want to use different names or pronouns at school. Kennedy wants the Canadian government to take a “serious look” at how safe LGBTQ+ communities are in Canada.
She Doesn’t Blame Canada
One Twitter user said “Canada is going to start ‘building that wall’ to keep their neighbors out.” She also said she didn’t blame Canada for issuing the travel advisory.
Why Wouldn’t Canada Issue the Advisory?
The Twitter account @fire_reborn was in agreement with the Canadian travel advisory. This person commented, “Why wouldn’t [Canada] issue a travel advisory? Even the USA doesn’t recommend anyone that is LGBTQ to go to Florida.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Olezzo. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.