While there are a number of countries that provide legal protections to LGBT travelers, others do not. Additionally, there are countries that even criminalize consensual same-sex relationships. Individuals convicted under these laws face harsh penalties. Before choosing an international travel destination, LGBT travelers should be aware of local laws and biases at international destinations, and use this information to determine how open one can be regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.
The U.S. Department of State publishes information about harassment and/or arrests of LGBT travelers abroad. By visiting the Country Specific Information section of the DOS website, an individual can search by Country for this type of information. However, this site is not comprehensive and should not be assumed to be so.
Other resources for information regarding safe travel for LGBT individuals include:
- Department of State annual Human Rights Report;
- Department of State LGBT Fact Sheet “Working to Advance Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Persons Globally;” and
- The International Lesbian and Gay Association – provides information on gay rights around the world and contains a map which highlights potentially dangerous regions.
The next blogs in this three-part series will discuss specific recommendations for LGBT travelers and U.S. Immigration options for same-sex partners. Our attorneys are available to discuss travel and immigration issues impacting the LGBT community. Contact us to schedule a consultation.