The price of North Carolina’s attempt to abolish protections and to exclude trans people from public life continues to mount up, as the UK Foreign Office has revealed it has raised the matter through official channels.
This was in response to a written question from Cat Smith, Labour MP and Shadow Spokesperson for Women.
Last week, she asked the Foreign Secretary: ‘What plans does the Secretary of State have to raise the issue of LGBT rights in North Carolina and Mississippi with his counterpart in the US?’
The official response, delivered late yesterday afternoon, was that they have already raised it with North Carolina.
Responding on behalf of the Foreign Office, Hugo Swire, Conservative MP and a Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office wrote: ‘Our Consul General in Atlanta raised our concerns with the North Carolina Commerce Secretary on 19 April.
‘We have amended our Travel Advice for the United States to reflect legislative changes on LGBT rights in North Carolina and Mississippi . This Government is opposed to all forms of discrimination. We are committed to ensuring that all LGBT people are free to live their lives in a safe and just environment.’
The fact the Foreign Office have raised the matter with the State of North Carolina – and so soon after that state passed legislation that would penalzse both LGBTI persons living in that state and any LGBTI visitors to that state, suggests the UK Government is taking the matter seriously – and there may be further consequences for North Carolina if they fail to change their stance on this issue.
Speaking exclusively to Gay Star News, Cat Smith told us: ‘Many British people holiday and travel to the US, and all travelers should be free to travel in the US free from fear of persecution.
‘After reading Jane Fae’s article in Gay Star News it struck me that the Government should be doing more to work with the US, a country we supposedly have a special relationship with, to ensure human rights of all people are upheld.’