U.S. State Department posts LGBT travel advisory

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The U.S. State Department has posted a travel advisory page for LGBT Americans that notes that while a number of countries provide legal protections to LGBT people a "significant number … criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations."

The State Department advisory cautions that people in some of those countries "could be sentenced to prison, and/or be punished by fines, deportation, flogging, or even sentenced to death. Before choosing one’s international destination, LGBT travelers should carefully consider the laws and biases of their international destination and decide how open one can be regarding one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Personal judgment and knowledge of local laws and customs before one goes will help ensure your safety."

The page contains a link to information for specific countries, as well as advice, such as: 

• Invest in a good guide book – many specialize in information for LGBT travelers.

• The Internet and the press that specialize in LGBT issues are good resources.

• A travel agent or tour operator might have information about LGBT issues, particularly in the more popular holiday destinations.

• Local LGBT groups are an excellent source of information about local laws and attitudes.

• Sign up for the State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and download the Smart Traveler App.

The page also contains a series of questions and answers for travelers related to the arrest and harassment of LGBT people in other countries, the types of documents LGBT people and their families should carry when traveling, specific questions and answers for transgender travelers, links to information about entry policies for people living with HIV and instructions on what to do if a problem arises.

In addition, the page explains the impact of the Defense of Marriage Act for binational couples in the United States while providing information for a U.S. citizen planning to live in another country with his or her partner.

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