Obama says US anti-LGBT laws should be abolished during visit to UK
During his final visit to the UK as the President of the United States, Barack Obama has said that anti-LGBT laws in states like North Carolina should be reversed.
President Obama, during his official state visit to the UK which will see him meet with the queen, and on which he said the UK should stay in the EU, criticised laws such as those passed recently in North Carolina and Mississippi.
The laws limit the rights of LGBT people, allow discrimination based on “religious belief”, and even roll back protections for trans people wishing to use a gender-appropriate bathroom.
Speaking at the news conference in London, Obama admitted that he believes that some of those backing such laws are good people, but that he disagrees with them on the issue of laws to limit LGBT rights.
“I also think that the laws that have been passed there are wrong and should be overturned and they’re in response to politics in part and some strong emotions that are generated by people,” Obama said.
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He commented on the issue as the UK government this week updated its travel advice for the United States – to warn gay people about new anti-LGBT laws.
Obama said that gay travellers should still go to the US, and that they would be treated with “extraordinary hospitality.”
He added that the US is not the only country which has a federal government, but also where states can make their own laws.
Press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed an impromptu visit from Obama, which had long been rumoured ahead of the EU referendum.
The visit is likely to be the President’s last before his term ends in January.
Mr Earnest said: “The President has been to the UK. three or four times now, and I know he’s enjoyed each visit.
“This will be his second visit to London, I believe, and he’s hoping that it won’t be consumed just with work, that he might get to have a little fun while he’s there, too.”