Canada has issued a warning to LGBTQ travelers traveling to the United States. The travel advisory released on Tuesday by Ottawa warns people identifying as 2SLGBTQI+ – referring to two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or intersex- before visiting to check the laws of the state.
Pride Parade of LGBTQ community in Canada. Image source: BBC
In its advisory, Global Affairs Canada informed of few states enacting laws and policies that might affect 2SLGBTQI+ persons. It has advised people to “check relevant state and local laws.” These alerts are often reserved for nations like Egypt, Russia, or Uganda.Freeland further added that it is the duty of every Canadian government to put the interest, and safety of every single Canadian and every single group of Canadians at the center of what we do. And that’s what they are doing now according to him.
Anti-LGBTQ protests in the U.S.
In the US, anti-LGBT protests increased 30 times more in 2018 compared to 2017, and more laws restricting LGBT rights are being passed.A representative of Global Affairs Canada mentioned US legislation that discriminate against the transgender population.
According to them, “Since the start of 2023, some states in the US have passed laws prohibiting drag shows and limiting the transgender community’s access to gender-affirming care and sporting events.”
The governor of Tennessee approved regulations restricting medical care for young transgender people and outlawing drag shows in front of youngsters in March.
Two months later, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved legislation limiting the use of pronouns in schools and prohibiting minors from attending drag shows or receiving transgender medical care.
Across the US, conservative-run states have proposed hundreds of similar laws regarding LGBT problems.
The Human Rights Campaign:
The largest LGBTQ advocacy organization in the US, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), announced a national state of emergency in June, citing “real, tangible, and dangerous” threats against LGBTQ people.
A mural in Florida honoring Irish journalist Lyra McKee, who was killed in 2019 by a shooting, was vandalized on Monday with a swastika and anti-LGBT graffiti.
The United States of America is by far the most popular destination for the more than 20 million travelers who make the trip there each year.According to government statistics, 4% of Canadians who are 15 years of age and older identify as having a sexual orientation other than heterosexual.
Response of Canada to the laws:
Chrystia Freeland, the deputy prime minister of Canada, said to reporters in Atlantic Canada that the government hired specialists to investigate around the world and monitor whether there are potential dangers to a particular group of Canadians, when they asked why the advice had been updated.
When questioned whether there had been consultations with the US government prior to the adjustment, she declined to respond.