President Obama took a public stand on Friday against the sweeping anti-LGBT laws that have been passed in both Mississippi and North Carolina, while also assuring Britons that they would be welcomed if they were to visit these states.
During a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama was asked about the travel warning that has been issued in the U.K., warning travelers of the draconian anti-gay laws that have recently been passed these southern states.
Obama began by inviting the British people to visit Mississippi and North Carolina, pointing to their “wonderful” and “hospitable people.” He stated that Brits “should come and enjoy yourselves, and I think you’ll be treated with extraordinary hospitality.”
Then, the president spoke of the bigoted legal discrimination that has now been enacted in both of these states, stating that in his opinion, the laws “should be overturned.”
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 — in part to some strong emotions that are generated by people, some of whom are good people but I just disagree with them when it comes to respecting the equal rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation, whether they’re transgender or gay or lesbian.
Obama said that although he has respect for “different viewpoints, I think it’s very important for us not to send signals that anybody is treated differently.”
He then added that the federal system is part of the reason for the trans-Atlantic warning, and noted that the few crazy right-wing nut jobs who have pushed these laws forward do not speak for the nation as a whole.
“And I think it’s fair to say that we’re not unique among countries, where particularly under a federal system in which power’s dispersed that there are going to be some localities or local officials that put forward laws that aren’t necessarily reflective of a national consensus,” he said, before promising, “But if you guys come to North Carolina or Mississippi, everybody will be treated well.”
The travel warning was issued throughout the U.K. earlier this week.
Watch President Obama’s remarks here:
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