State Department issues travel alert for LGBTQ people, events abroad

WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department issued a "Worldwide Caution" alert on Friday, warning U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution due to "the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events."

According to an administration official familiar with the matter, the alert is connected to the recent announcement from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security that foreign terrorist organizations might seek to exploit "LGBTQIA+-related events and venues," including events during 2024 Pride month, which begins in June.

The alert comes on the same day the State Department is commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia.

Last year's Pride month was also marked by safety concerns after the Department of Homeland Security issued a report warning that domestic violence extremists and people who commit hate crimes have increased threats of violence against the LGBTQIA+ community in recent years.

LGBTQ advocacy groups have issued a "state of emergency" in the U.S. following record-breaking waves of anti-LGBTQ legislation as well as a spike in reports of hate incidents.

The State Department alert also advises traveling Americans to exercise increased caution because of the potential for more generalized terrorist attacks, demonstrations, or violent actions "against U.S. citizens and interests."

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