18 May 2016
The European Union has warned that the American states of North Carolina and Mississippi are violating a human rights treaty with their anti-LGBT legislations.
The two traditionally anti-gay states have attracted scrutiny for passing laws rolling back vital LGBT anti-discrimination protections, ostensibly with the goal of stopping trans women from using men’s bathrooms.
The laws have led to condemnation from across Europe, with the British government even updating its own travel advice to warn LGBT people they may face discriminatory treatment in those states.
In a statement released earlier this week, the European Union suggested the laws in those states violate a human rights agreement.
A spokesperson for the EU said:
"The recently adopted laws including in the states of Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee, which discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in the United States contravene the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the US is a State party, and which states that the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection.
"As a consequence, cultural, traditional or religious values cannot be invoked to justify any form of discrimination, including discrimination against LGBTI persons.
"These laws should be reconsidered as soon as possible.
"The European Union reaffirms its commitment to the equality and dignity of all human beings irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
"We will continue to work to end all forms of discrimination and to counter attempts to embed or enhance discrimination wherever it occurs around the world.”
Meanwhile, the tourist boards of Mississippi and North Carolina have both reported a decline in visitors since the measures was passed.
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina said that businesses also have expressed reservations about the new discriminatory measures. These include PayPal and Deutsche Bank, which have both stopped job creation in North Carolina.