The Canadian government is warning LGBTQ travelers to the United States that a series of recently enacted state laws restricting transgender and other gay people could affect them.
Global Affairs Canada, the foreign affairs department, added a brief notice on Tuesday to a long list of travel warnings involving the United States which has already included precautions about gun violence and terrorism.
“Some states have enacted laws and policies that may affect 2SLGBTQI+ people,” the notice reads. “Check relevant state and local laws.” (The beginning of the Canadian government acronym, “2S,” stands for two-spirit, a native term for a person with a masculine and feminine spirit.)
Jérémie Bérubé, a spokesman for the department, said in a statement that the change was made because “some US states have passed laws banning drag shows and restricting the transgender community from accessing gender-affirming care and from participation in sporting events” starting this year. The warning did not name specific states.
He added that, like all travel advisories, this one followed a “thorough review of various sources of information, including consular trends observed by Canadian diplomats in the field.”
Mr. Bérubé did not respond to a question about whether any travelers to Canada have sought help from Canadian diplomats because of the state’s recent LGBTQ legislation.
Moves by state legislators, particularly in Florida, to curtail LGBTQ rights have received prominent attention in the Canadian news media, such as a hate crimes increased directed at that community. The Human Rights Campaign calculated that 520 pieces of legislation to limit or eliminate the rights of LGBTQ people were introduced this year in state legislatures, where 70 of them were adopted.
Helen Kennedy, the executive director of Egale Canada, an LGBTQ rights group in Toronto, said that while her organization has not heard from Canadians affected by the state’s measures, she expects some will inevitably catch up. .
“We applaud our government for taking this step,” he said. “It sends a clear message that even our closest neighbors can be a hostile force towards our community.”
There has been less political momentum in Canada to restore LGBTQ rights, with strong court protections.
For nearly two years, the Atlantic province of New Brunswick has had a policy requiring teachers to use students’ preferred names and genders. Premier Blaine Higgs changed it to require teachers to get parental consent if the child is under 16. But the move did not have widespread support. Several members of the Legislature, including several cabinet ministers, quit Mr. Higgs’ Progressive Conservative caucus in protest. Despite that backlash, other conservative politicians have suggested they will follow New Brunswick’s lead.
While the overall threat assessment for travel to the United States remains at its lowest level, the country now joins many others in which the Canadian government warns about LGBTQ travelers, mostly in stronger language than the advisory for in the United States. The new advisory includes a link to a general safety guide page for the community about traveling abroad.
Florida and some of the other states that have enacted anti-LGBTQ laws and policies are popular tourist destinations for Canadians. said Ms. Kennedy that the law is increasingly causing LGBTQ Canadians making travel plans to ask, “Is this the best place to spend my money?”