Canada warns LGBT+ travelers over visits to the US

Canada is issuing advice to LGBT+ travellers who are considering trips to the US, urging them to assess the potential impact of recently enacted laws in certain states.

Within Canada’s travel advisory for the US, there is now a warning specifically directed at LGBT+ individuals.

“Some states have enacted laws and policies that may affect [LGBT+] persons,” the advisory from Ottawa said on Tuesday. “Check relevant state and local laws.”

Canada’s deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland said the new advice was issued on behalf of experts who “look carefully around the world” and “monitor whether there are particular dangers to particular groups of Canadians”.

The inclusion of local laws such as Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill has raised concerns about the potential infringement on the rights of the LGBT+ community within the US.

Such developments possibly prompted Ottawa’s decision to issue the advisory.

The advisory, however, does not name any particular states.

The US State Department said the government was committed to “promoting tolerance, inclusion, justice, and dignity” and to advancing the rights of the LGBT+ community.

“Every Canadian government... needs to put at the centre of everything we do the interest and the safety of every single Canadian and every single group of Canadians. That’s what we’re doing now,” Ms Freeland told the media.

The US stands as the first travel choice for Canadians, with a considerable 2.8 million trips from residents in June alone.

Notably, approximately 1 million individuals, constituting 4 per cent of the Canadian population aged 15 years and above, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or with a sexual orientation differing from heterosexuality, as indicated by official data from the previous year.

Additional reporting by agencies