Days before President Obama travels to England, the United Kingdom's foreign office has issued a travel warning to British tourists visiting the American South, specifically referencing North Carolina and Mississippi.
On the U.K.'s Foreign Office website, under the local laws and customs section of the USA travel advice, is the following message:
Local laws and customs
Laws vary from state to state. When you are physically present in a state, even temporarily, you are subject to that state’s laws. You must carry a passport showing that you have leave to enter or remain with you at all times.
The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi. Before travelling please read our general travel advice for the LGBT community. You can find more detail on LGBT issues in the US on the website of the Human Rights Campaign.
Possession or trafficking of a controlled substance in the United States can carry a severe prison sentence and/or fine. Check with each state you are intending to visit to make sure you comply with the personal possession and consumption laws of controlled substances within those states. A list of all types of controlled substances, as listed under the Controlled Substances Act, can be found on the US Department of Justice website.
Details of the assistance offered by the British Embassy and Consulates to British nationals if arrested or detained in the USA is available on GOV.UK.
Director of HRC Global, Ty Cobb, released the following statement:
"It is both frightening and embarrassing that one of our nation’s staunchest allies has warned its citizens to of the risks of traveling to North Carolina and Mississippi because of anti-LGBT laws passed by their elected officials. It is now more clear than ever that these terrible measures are not only harming individuals and taking an economic toll on the states, but are also causing serious damage to nation’s reputation, and the perceived safety of LGBT people who travel here."