On Tuesday, the British Foreign Office updated its travel advisory to warn LGBTQ tourists about anti-gay, anti-trans laws recently passed in North Carolina and Mississippi. “The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country,” the advisory explains. “LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi. Before travelling please read our general travel advice for the LGBT community.”
North Carolina is currently in the midst of a backlash over its passage of HB2, a sweeping bill that forbids trans people from using certain bathrooms and nullifies local LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances. Business leaders, musicians, and at least three progressive cities have responded by boycotting the state. Mississippi’s measure legalizes discrimination against LGBT people in housing, employment, and public accommodations. It also allows public schools to bar trans students from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. The British government is presumably concerned that LGBTQ tourists might be denied service or ejected from their hotel, since doing so is now fully legal under both states’ laws.
The same day the U.K. issued its updated travel advice, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that excluding trans students from school bathrooms violates federal law. A broader challenge to the constitutionality is currently pending.