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Canada Issues Advisory for LGBTQ2S+ Travellers Destined for the US

Travelers were warned to research the laws and policies in different states before departing Canada

Canada is encouraging LGBTQ2S+ people to check local laws before traveling to the United States. 

The government edited its travel advisory page to warn that parts of America may not be as supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or two-spirit people and to advise travelers to be aware. 

“Some states have enacted laws and policies that may affect 2SLGBTQI+ persons,” Global Affairs Canada noted online in a recent update

Canadian travelers who identify as LGBTQ were advised to “research the laws, safety recommendations and social customs related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics” before reaching their destination.

“Not all countries have the same values and legal system that we have in Canada,” the government warned on a page for LGBTQ2S+ people. “As a result, it is important for you to be informed about the legal framework and social customs governing sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics in your destination country.”

The government also said that people who have the gender marker “X” on their passports “may still be asked to provide binary sex information” while traveling outside Canada. 

“The move comes after at least 18 U.S. states passed laws that limit or ban certain things relevant to the community, including gender-affirming medical care for minors and teaching about sexual orientation in schools,” reports CTV News. “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also warned in May that threats of violence against the LGBTQ+ community were becoming more frequent and intense.”

America issued its first gender-neutral passport in October of 2022, which can be obtained without a medical certificate.

“The Department of State continues the process of updating its policies regarding gender markers on U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) to better serve all U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender identity,” said then-Department of State spokesman Ned Price.

Canada’s alteration of its travel advisory comes four months after an LGBTQ activist group issued a similar warning. Equality Florida, in partnership with the Florida Immigrant Coalition, advised the public against traveling or relocating to Florida in April. The groups cited concerns about health, safety, and freedom.

The organization largely blamed policies enacted under Governor Ron DeSantis regulating how gender and sex can be discussed in schools and restricting the forms of medical intervention that can be offered to transgender-identifying minors.

“As an organization that has spent decades working to improve Florida’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live work and visit, it is with great sadness that we must respond to those asking if it is safe to travel to Florida or remain in the state as the laws strip away basic rights and freedoms,” said Equality Florida’s Executive Director Nadine Smith in a statement.

Florida officials called the travel advisory a political stunt.

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