Canada has issued a travel advisory for its citizens visiting the U.S. over the passage of laws in some states that ban children from undergoing sex change operations and restrict sexually explicit drag performances.
The advisory from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) tells visitors to the U.S. to check out local laws, which a government spokesperson said was a reference to new transgender-related laws passed in conservative states.
“Some states have enacted laws and policies that may affect 2SLGBTQI+ persons. Check relevant state and local laws,” the GAC posted on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the department told the Canadian Broadcasting Company that the advisory was to “enable travellers to make their own informed decisions regarding destinations.”
“Since the beginning of 2023, certain states in the U.S. have passed laws banning drag shows and restricting the transgender community from access to gender affirming care and from participation in sporting events,” the statement from the spokesperson said, adding that other countries’ “laws and customs related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics can be very different from those in Canada.”
Over 20 states have laws banning children from getting cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers, in addition to surgeries like double mastectomies for girls who identify as boys, or other genital surgeries. Many of the laws have been passed in the last year, mostly across the South and Midwest.
Other laws have sought to prohibit males from participating in female sports and limit the availability of sexually explicit resources in schools.
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the updated guidance was meant to keep Canadians safe.
“Every Canadian government, very much including our government, needs to put at the center of everything we do the interests and the safety of every single Canadian, and of every single group of Canadians,” she said. “That’s what we’re doing now. That’s what we’re always going to do.”
“And with a disturbing rise in anti-transgender hate here in Canada and around the world recently, I want to be very clear about one more thing: Trans women are women. We will always stand up to this hate – whenever and wherever it occurs,” Trudeau posted on International Women’s Day.