Canada has issued a travel advisory for LGBTQ visitors considering trips to the United States, urging them to be aware of potential discrimination. The Canadian government recommends that LGBTQ individuals planning vacations in the United States stay informed and exercise caution.
The international travel advisory highlights the possibility of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community in certain areas of the United States. This comes in the wake of recent developments where 18 U.S. states passed laws that restrict or outright prohibit gender-affirming medical care for children and teaching about sexual orientation in schools, among other related issues.
While the advice may impact approximately 1 million LGBTQ+ Canadians, it does not specify particular U.S. states or policies. Canada’s LGBT travel webpage cautions visitors about potential challenges they might face outside of Canada, emphasizing that “foreign laws and customs concerning sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) can differ significantly from those in Canada.” Therefore, it advises travelers to research and prepare for their trips in advance to ensure a smooth journey.
Former foreign affairs minister and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, supports this updated advisory, emphasizing the government’s commitment to prioritizing the interests and safety of all Canadians, including various groups.
Responding to Canada’s revised travel warning, a U.S. State Department official stated, “The United States is committed to promoting tolerance, inclusion, justice, and dignity while advancing the equality and human rights of LGBTQI+ people.” The official stressed the importance of international cooperation with like-minded allies in the United States, Canada, and around the world.
While the United States remains a popular destination for travelers, including LGBTQ individuals, this advisory underscores the significance of recognizing the varying levels of acceptance and legal protections that exist across different U.S. states and regions.