The apparently complementary states of North Carolina and Mississippi have become a mainstay in the headlines over the past few weeks, though not for reasons of which any sane person would be proud. The troubling anti-LGBT laws recently passed in the states, as evidenced by this latest development from the British Foreign Office, are now causing international distress thanks to their blatant endorsement of open discrimination.
Britain has now issued a warning for LGBT travelers regarding any visits to the United States, specifically referencing the equality-halting legislation in both states. "The U.S. is an extremely diverse society and attitudes toward LGBT people differ hugely across the country," officials said in an update to its American travel advisory, according to the Huffington Post. "LGBT travelers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi."
In response to the Foreign Office's issued warning, the Human Rights Campaign issued their own statement taking direct aim at North Carolina and Mississippi lawmakers. "It is both frightening and embarrassing that one of our nation's staunchest allies has warned its citizens of the risks of traveling to North Carolina and Mississippi because of anti-LGBT laws passed by their elected officials," Ty Cobb, HRC Global's director, said. "It is now more clear than ever that these terrible measures are not only harming individuals and taking an economic toll on the states, but are also causing serious damage to our nation's reputation, and the perceived safety of LGBT people who travel here."
These laws have already negatively impacted business in both states, with major artists and public figures alike vocally expressing their disapproval by canceling previously scheduled appearances. Comedian Tracy Morgan, currently making his way around the world on his Picking Up the Pieces stand-up tour, announced on Tuesday that he would be canceling his performance at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica in protest of HB 1523. Noting that Morgan "did not make this decision lightly," a rep for the comedian told WLOX hat he is very much looking forward to rescheduling the show once the ludicrous legislation is either "repealed or heavily amended."