Dutch LGBT: Netherlands needs to issue U.S. travel warning

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The Netherlands should issue travel advice warning gay and transgender people to be careful when visiting certain states in America, according to Dutch LGBT organizations.

The British Foreign Office recently issued a travel warning stating that new laws passed in Mississippi and North Carolina recently will not only affect resident gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders, but also tourists. In those states people born as men, but living as women are no longer allowed to use a female bathroom, for example.

Dutch LGBT organizations think it a good idea for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to also issue such a warning. "For years we've been surprised that the Netherlands does not warn about areas where LGBT discrimination is rampant and even lawful", Corine van Dun of Transgender Network Netherlands said to newspaper Trouw. "You want to warn travelers as well as possible. Some people follow the news, but not everyone." She added that the Netherlands can send a clear signal to the United States with such a warning. "That is not do be underestimated."

LGBT interest group COC agrees, but adds that the warning needs to be carefully worded, chairman Tanja Ineke said to the newspaper. The information needs to be factual. "Then people can decide for themselves what they do with it." she said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the newspaper that the travel advice for America will not be adjusted for the time being. "The aim for our advice is to advise citizens about security risks", the spokesperson said. "Or if something is illegal, then we'll report that. Our advice is not as broad as the British'."

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