Tags: Immigration | Trump Administration | diplomats | same-sex | partner | visas

Diplomats' Same-Sex Partner Visas Halted by US

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The Trump administration has halted visas for same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and U.N. officials serving the U.S.

By    |   Tuesday, 02 October 2018 11:41 AM

Foreign diplomats and U.N. officials serving the U.S. will no longer be provided with visas for same-sex domestic partners by the Trump administration, according to a policy taking effect as of Monday.

Heterosexual domestic partners of foreign diplomats are also not eligible for U.S. visas, a State Department spokesperson explained, and the new policy would "ensure and promote equal treatment," according to ABC News.

"Same-sex spouses of U.S. diplomats now enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex spouses," the U.S. mission wrote in a July 12 note to U.N. based delegations, according to Foreign Policy. "Consistent with [State] Department policy, partners accompanying members of permanent missions or seeking to join the same must generally be married in order to be eligible" for a diplomatic visa.

Critics said the policy could pose a problem in countries that do not recognize same-sex marriages.

Currently, only 26 countries have legalized same-sex marriages, the Pew Research Center noted.

Meanwhile, homosexual activity is still considered illegal in 72 countries, ABC News said.

The U.N. Globe addressed this in a statement, noting that the State Department was "enforcing parity in the way they recognize opposite-sex partnerships and same-sex partnerships."

This, it said, was "an unfortunate change in rules, since same-sex couples, unlike opposite-sex couples, have limited choices when it comes to marriage."

Samantha Power, a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., took to Twitter to criticize the policy, calling it "needlessly cruel and bigoted."

She noted that only 12 percent of U.N. member states allowed same-sex marriages.

Human Rights Watch deputy U.N. director, Akshaya Kumar, said the policy would "tear LGBT U.N. staff" from their partners, according to Time.

"Requiring a marriage as proof of bona fide partnership is a bad and cruel policy, one that replicates the terrible discrimination many LGBT people face in their own countries," she said.

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Same-sex domestic partners of foreign diplomats and U.N. officials serving the U.S. will no longer be provided with visas by the Trump administration.
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2018-41-02
Tuesday, 02 October 2018 11:41 AM
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