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Published on : Tuesday, April 26, 2016
The travel advisory issued by the UK warns about North Carolina and Mississippi’s controversial new laws on LGBT members rights. These laws are already threatening to cost the U.S. states millions in lost business and tourism. The UK government has currently updated foreign travel advice warning British citizens about risks when visiting America’s south, in terms of potential discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LBGT) people.
Posted on the official government website on Tuesday, the updated travel advice states: “The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country.
Ty Cobb, director of US-based Human Rights Campaign Global, said it was “frightening and embarrassing” that the UK has warned its citizens of the risks of travelling to two southern states.
The North Carolina “bathroom” law, also known as HB2, put in place a statewide policy banning individuals from using public bathrooms that don’t correspond to their biological sex at birth. The law has faced strong opposition from gay rights activists and also from VIPs, such as Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Pearl Jam, who have canceled their shows in North Carolina. The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau said that it lost $3 million from cancellations following the declaration of this law and expects to further register more than $44 million due to the new law.
The second-largest county in North Carolina, Wake County, has been particularly hit by the new law, as it is home to the PNC arena in Raleigh. The losses affected there as well when Pearl Jam cancelled a concert which was supposed to take place on Wednesday. Ringo Starr, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and Cirque du Soleil have also cancelled their performances in North Carolina in protest at the law.
Additionally, PayPal has cancelled its plans to open a new operation centre in Charlotte that was expected to create about 400 jobs. Deutsche Bank, too, has ditched its expansion plans within the state, which were expected to create about 250 new jobs at its location in Cary, North Carolina.
In Mississippi, the “religious liberties” law, House Bill 1523, will take effect in July. It will allow businesses and religious groups to deny the LGBT community of certain services such as counselling, wedding planning and adoption support. The legislation, here too will block cities from allowing transgender people to use public bathrooms for the sex they identify as, as well as more widely restricting cities from passing non-discrimination laws.