President Obama spoke at a press conference in London today and said that North Carolina and Mississippi's anti-LGBT laws are "wrong" and "should be overturned."
The president was prompted by reporters to respond to a warning the United Kingdom's foreign office issued to British travelers, advising them to be cautious about visiting North Carolina and Mississippi.
President Obama reassured the British that they are welcome to visit both states. "I want everybody here in the United Kingdom to know that the people of North Carolina and Mississippi are wonderful people. They are hospitable people. They are beautiful states, and you are welcome."
The president said that Mississippi and North Carolina's anti-LGBT bills are in "response to politics in part. In part some strong emotions that are generated by people. Some of whom are good people, but I just disagree with, when it comes to respecting the equal rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, whether they're transgender or gay or lesbian."
During his remarks, he went on to say, "It's important for us not to send signals that anybody is treated differently."
In its warning to travelers, the foreign office wrote, "The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country." The two anti-LGBT laws that the U.K. foreign office was referring to are North Carolina's House Bill 2 and Mississippi's House Bill 1523.
North Carolina's HB 2 bans local governments from including sexual orientation and gender identity in their antidiscrimination ordinances. The law also specifically targets transgender people by requring them to use public bathroom and locker room facilities that don't match their gender identity, when these facilities are located in government buildings.
Mississippi's HB 1523 allows businesses, individuals, and religiously affiliated organizations to deny service to LGBT people, single mothers, and others who somehow offend an individual's "sincerely held religious belief." It also directly targets transgender residents, effectively claiming that one's sex assigned at birth is immutable, and will be the only gender recognized by the state.
Watch a video of President Obama's remarks about the anti-LGBT laws below.