OTTAWA — (08-30-23) — Canada shocked the US State Department on Wednesday, issuing a new travel warning for its LGBT citizens planning on visiting the United States. According to Global Affairs Canada, anti-LGBT protests in the US rose 30-fold in 2022 compared to 2017. What also shocked the both Democrats and Republicans, was the part about the USA’ legal moves to restrict LGBT rights.

Global Affairs Canada warned that some state laws may affect them on their travels, but did not specify where. Such warnings are usually reserved for countries in third world nations.

“Some states have enacted laws and policies that may affect 2SLGBTQI+ persons. Check relevant state and local laws,” reads its US travel advisory page.

The term 2SLGBTQI+ is used in Canada for its citizens who consider themselves two-spirit, bisexual, gay, transgender or queer.

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada pointed to US laws targeting the transgender community over the past 8 months.

“Since the beginning of 2023, certain states in the US have passed laws banning drag shows and restricting the transgender community from access to gender-affirming care and from participation in sporting events,” they told CBC News.

The Human Rights Campaign, the LGBT community’s largest advocacy group in the USA, said in June that LGBT Americans were facing a state of emergency as states continue targeting them with legislation being presented by right wing extremists.

As an example of what LGBT Canadian citizens maybe subjected too, the GAC said that on Monday, a mural in Florida dedicated to Belfast-born journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead in 2019, was defaced with a swastika and anti-LGBT graffiti.

Asked why the warning was issued, Canadian Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland told reporters in Atlantic Canada that the government employed experts “to look carefully around the world and to monitor whether there are particular dangers to particular groups of Canadians”.

The Deputy prime minister declined to say if they had spoken with the State Department prior to their decision.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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