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U.S. issues global alert for risk of violence against LGBTQ2 people, events

Click to play video: 'Pride 2023: People across the globe celebrate LGBTQ2+ community'
Pride 2023: People across the globe celebrate LGBTQ2+ community
WATCH: Pride 2023: People across the globe celebrate LGBTQ2 community – Jun 25, 2023

The U.S. State Department on Friday issued a worldwide security alert for travellers abroad, saying it is aware of an increased risk of “foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence” against LGBTQ2 people and events.

The alert comes two weeks before the start of Pride Month in Canada, the United States and around the world.

“Due to the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations, or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution,” the State Department said in a statement.

The department did not give additional details on what prompted the alert. It said U.S. travellers should “stay alert in locations frequented by tourists, including Pride celebrations and venues frequented by LGBTQI+ persons.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Friday marking International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia that LGBTQ2 people “continue to face insidious forms of stigma and discrimination,” as well as violence.

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“This year, like every year, we state unequivocally: LGBTQI+ persons deserve recognition of their universal human rights and human dignity,” Blinken said.

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LGBTQ2+ myth-busting: Debunking the misinformation about the community

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted on social media Friday that the fight for LGBTQ2 equality is far from over, pointing to ongoing instances of community members being bullied or attacked.

“We’ve come a long way, but we have work to do – to make Canada a safer, more inclusive place,” he said.

Canada had not issued a similar global travel warning as of Friday. A section of Travel Canada’s website that was last updated Thursday contains advice for LGBTQ2 travellers, who the government warns could face “certain barriers and risks” while travelling outside Canada, particularly in countries with anti-LGBTQ2 laws.

Last year, Canada updated its travel advisory for the U.S. warning people to check state and local laws surrounding the LGBTQ2 community before visiting, amid a wave of legislation targeting drag shows and gender-affirming health care.

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The advisory cited a risk of potential dangers to LGBTQ2 people in the U.S., where protests against the community have risen exponentially between 2017 and 2023, according to crowdsource data from Harvard University researchers.

The rise in anti-gay violence, rhetoric and legislation prompted an unprecedented national “state of emergency” declaration from Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ2 advocacy organization in the U.S.

Click to play video: 'Why LGBTQ2 advocates are advising against travel to some U.S. states'
Why LGBTQ2 advocates are advising against travel to some U.S. states

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