US Issues Worldwide Security Travel Alert For The LGBTQ+ Community Ahead Of Summer

US Issues Worldwide Security Travel Alert For The LGBTQ+ Community Ahead Of Summer

The US State Department has issued an unusual worldwide caution security alert for the LGBTQ+ community, events, and venues.

The agency says it is “aware” of the potential terrorist violence this community could be subject to in future LGBTQI+ events and gatherings 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 Department of State is aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events,” the statement reads.

This alert has caught the attention of international media because just two weeks ago, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also emitted a similar caution, indicating something concerning could be going on.

“Foreign terrorist organizations or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month,” they said.

Both agencies recalled the message issued by the Islamic State (IS) group ahead of Pride Month last year, urging its members and sympathizers to target these groups.

Unfortunately, not all have been empty threats, things have happened.

Inspired by IS ideology, American-born Omar Mir Seddique murdered 49 people and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub in Florida in 2016.

During Pride Month last year, there were over 145 incidents of vandalism, violence and harassment, the Anti-Defamation League and Glaad reported.

The FBI and DHS also reminded us that three IS followers tried to attack a pride event last year in Vienna.

For his part, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that members of the LGBTQI+ community still face stigma and discrimination.

“LGBTQI+ persons continue to be sentenced to death for daring to live their sexual orientation or gender identity, subjected to coercive conversion ‘therapies’ and ‘normalization’ surgeries, discriminated against while receiving health services, restricted from exercising fundamental freedoms, and denied the dignity of same-sex partnership and fulfillment of family,” said Blinken.

For all the above, the US State Department urges LGBTQI+ people to be aware of their surroundings in all tourist venues and traditional celebrations.

It also recommends you register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to keep posted about last-minute news regarding security and help locate you if something wrong happens to you overseas.