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Dublin: 2°C Friday 26 February 2021

Travel advice given to LGBT tourists over North Carolina bathroom law

A number of high profile musicians have cancelled gigs in North Carolina and Mississippi over anti-LGBT laws.

LGBT activists protesting in North Carolina last month
LGBT activists protesting in North Carolina last month
Image: AP Photo/Emery P. Dalesio

BRITISH CITIZENS PLANNING to travel to the United States are being warned about anti-gay laws in two US states.

The advice from the UK Foreign Office focuses on North Carolina and Mississippi following changes to legislation in both states.

The moves comes following a backlash against legislators in North Carolina over a decision to overturn a law that allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of whichever sex they identify with.

In Mississippi human rights organisations have expressed opposition to the Religious Liberty Accommodations Act, which protects beliefs that marriage and sexual relationships should be the preserve of heterosexual couples.

In effect, the law allows officials and businesses the right to deny marriage-related services to gay people or refuse to employ them if they feel it would go against their religious beliefs.

‘LGBT travellers may be affected’ 

Under the local laws and customs section of the travel advice section for the United States, the UK Foreign Office says:

The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.
Before travelling please read out general travel advice for the LGBT community.

Potential travellers are then directed towards the website of the Human Rights Campaign in the United States, who have been leading protest events against anti-LGBT laws in the country.

Since the start of the month performers including Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam have cancelled performances in North Carolina, with Springsteen saying: “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry – which is happening as I write – is one of them.”

Here in Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it “does not comment on the travel advice issued from other Governments to their citizens”.

We closely and continuously monitor international developments and our own travel advice for each country is regularly reviewed and updated as appropriate. When formulating updates we work closely with our network of 80 Missions worldwide and generally consult with our fellow EU Member States and other international partners.

Read: Congressman blasts Springsteen as ‘radical left’ and ‘bully’ after gig cancellation

Also: Bryan Adams cancels Mississippi gig over anti-LGBT law

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