HRC Blog

State Department Posts Informational Brief for LGBT Travelers

The State Department has posted a new advisory brief for LGBT Americans traveling abroad. The statement reads in part:

Attitudes and tolerance toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons vary from country to country, just as they vary among U.S. cities and states. Most LGBT travelers encounter no problems while overseas, but it helps to be prepared and research your destination before you go.

There are a number of countries that provide legal protections to those who are LGBT.  Unfortunately, there are others that do not, and a significant number that even criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations. Persons convicted in these countries could be sentenced to prison, and/or be punished by fines, deportation, flogging, or even sentenced to death. Before choosing one’s international destination, LGBT travelers should carefully consider the laws and biases of their international destination and decide how open one can be regarding one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Personal judgment and knowledge of local laws and customs before one goes will help ensure your safety.

The page includes links to country-specific information, details on immigration obstacles LGBT couples face under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and advice for LGBT travelers if they encounter harassment or arrest overseas.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made landmark strides in defending the rights of LGBT people around the globe, and we look forward to continued progress under the leadership of Secretary John Kerry.

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