The page also links to broader advice on how LGBTQ people are subject to local laws at their travel destinations, “even if these laws infringe on your human rights.”
Although the advisory did not list any particular state laws or policies, Jérémie Bérubé, a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada, pointed to legislation passed this year in certain U.S. states “banning drag shows and restricting the transgender community from access to gender affirming care and from participation in sporting events,” among other restrictions.
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, a former foreign minister, told reporters Tuesday that the travel advice was updated because Ottawa prioritizes “the interests and the safety of every single Canadian.”
“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, adding that it was “the right thing to do.”
In May, U.S.-based human rights groups issued a travel advisory for Florida, noting that the state had passed bills that included limiting the discussion of gender and sexual orientation in classrooms and banning transgender people from using many bathrooms and changing areas.
State legislators across the United States have introduced nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills this year, according to data compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union. “While not all of these bills will become law, they all cause harm for LGBTQ people,” the ACLU said on its website.
A Washington Post analysis in April found that as of four months into this year’s state legislative sessions, more bills targeting LGBTQ rights — with an emphasis on transgender rights — had become law than at any other time in U.S. history.
Logan S. Casey, who serves as a senior researcher at the Movement Advancement Project, which tracks the legislation, said at the time that the rise in such laws was “part of a very clear and identifiable national effort in state legislatures that is and has been going on for years — and it’s really culminating this year.”
This month, North Carolina barred transgender athletes from competing on women’s or girls’ sports teams and restricted gender-affirming care for minors, while a bill banning gender-affirming care for transgender youths passed into law in Louisiana.
In Texas, a law that would prevent young people from medically transitioning genders and prohibit the use of Medicaid to pay for such treatments is set to take effect this week.
In Canada, those seeking to target LGBTQ rights through legislation have had far less success. But they often employ the same language and tactics of their U.S. counterparts, advocates for the LGBTQ community say.
The province of New Brunswick has this year been roiled by changes to a policy that would bar teachers from identifying students under 16 by the pronouns and names of their choosing without the consent of their parents.
Advocates for LGBTQ students argue that the change risks outing children to parents who might not be supportive and jeopardizing their safety. Blaine Higgs, the province’s premier, has defended the changes as necessary for protecting the rights of parents.
He told the provincial legislature that gender dysphoria is becoming “popular and trendy” because there is “such acceptance that ‘Okay, this is fine,’” and he has railed against “drag story time” for young students, echoing the language of U.S. lawmakers.
New Brunswick’s child and youth advocate said in a report this month that the changes violate rights protected by Canada’s constitution. The province of Saskatchewan has introduced a similar policy.