In a new update to its travel advice for the United States, Foreign Affairs Canada cautions LGBTQ travelers that some state laws may have an impact on their journeys.
The warning directs visitors to a government website that offers comprehensive details on how community members might be targeted while visiting other nations. Travelers are cautioned to avoid laws that prohibit same-sex behavior and relationships or that single out individuals for being of a particular sexual orientation or gender identity.
Travelers are also cautioned that rules intended to prevent vagrancy and public nuisance situations may also be used against them in an effort “to criminalize 2SLGBTQI+ people.” according to the guidance.
The amended advice makes no reference to any particular law or state policy and does not advise avoiding any particular state. A department representative referred to rules that specifically target the transgender population when asked for more information.
The decision to revise the travel advice was endorsed, according to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who was speaking in Moncton, New Brunswick on Tuesday. But, she declined to comment on whether U.S. President Joseph Biden was told prior to the update.
Freeland asserted that in her capacity as a former minister of foreign affairs, she is certain that the travel warnings posted on the Global Affairs Canada website are “done very professionally.” According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 494 anti-LGBTQ measures are now being considered by state legislatures in the United States.
Over 400 Bills Impacting Rights
According to the ACLU, of those bills, 230 will have an impact on schools and educational policies, 130 will have an impact on health care delivery, 40 will have an impact on civil rights (such as equal treatment under the law), and eight will have an impact on public restrooms and other shared facilities.
Other state-level legislation being monitored by the ACLU would restrict access to literature about LGBTQ persons and issues, outlaw gender information appearing on government identity documents, or outlaw or censor drag shows.
The latest travel advise was issued after the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest Gay rights group in the United States, joined other civil rights groups in issuing a travel advisory for Florida in May.
Newly approved laws and regulations, according to the warning, might endanger minorities, immigrants, and Gay visitors to the state. In addition to the NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens, Equality Florida, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and the Florida Immigrant Coalition joined HRC in issuing travel or relocation advisories for the Sunshine State, one of the most visited places in the United States.
The HRC points out that if a bathroom is located in a publicly owned or leased building, Florida’s recently approved bathroom bill may subject transgender persons to criminal consequences for refusing to leave a bathroom when requested.