- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 21, 2016

In response to laws gay-rights groups say are discriminatory, the British Foreign Office on Tuesday issued a travel advisory for gay tourists visiting North Carolina and Mississippi.

“The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes toward LGBT people differ hugely across the country,” the advisory says. “LGBT travelers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.”

Mississippi passed a law earlier this month prohibiting the government from discriminating against religious organizations and individuals who subscribe to a traditional view of marriage. Religious organizations and individuals cannot be punished by the state for holding the view that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

North Carolina enacted a measure last month prohibiting people from using the public facilities of the opposite sex. The LGBT community argues the law is discriminatory toward transgender people, who wish to use accommodations on the basis of gender identity, rather than biological sex.

The North Carolina law has prompted a massive backlash from big businesses and entertainers who say the law runs contrary to their values.

Bruce Springsteen and Tracy Morgan are among the celebrities to cancel shows over the legislation, and companies such as PayPal and Deutsche Bank have called off planned expansions in the state.

Several cities, including New York City and San Francisco, have banned nonessential governmental travel to North Carolina.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order earlier this month clarifying that private businesses can regulate their bathrooms however they choose.

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