The Canadian government on Tuesday, Aug. 29 warned members of the LGBTQ+ community planning to visit the United States they may be at risk in some parts of the country, telling them to "check relevant state and local laws."
The advisory links to a government web page that emphasizes that some foreign jurisdictions may target people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Published online on the website of Global Affairs Canada, such warnings are usually reserved for countries known for LGBTQ+ rights violations, such as Russia, Egypt, and Uganda.
Canada's travel advisories generally focus on risks linked to political instability or natural disasters.
Asked about the warning at a news conference on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland stressed that the decision was not political.
"We have professionals in the government whose job is to look carefully around the world and to monitor whether there are particular dangers to particular groups of Canadians," she said.
Canada, home to 40 million people, has around one million people from the LGBTQ+ community, according to Statistics Canada.
The US is the top destination for Canadians going abroad, with 2.8 million visits south of the border in June alone.
Ottawa's notice comes as anti-LGBTQ rhetoric intensifies in the US, with some states trying to ban drag shows and restricting transgender people from participating in sports events.
Moreover, proponents of such restrictions have launched targeted boycotts of brands, such as the Target supermarket chain, that have supported LGBTQ+ causes.
In June, the US Supreme Court ruled that businesses may refuse some services to LGBTQ+ customers on religious grounds. (AFP)