Trump administration denying visas to same-sex partners of diplomats

The Trump administration has begun denying visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and United Nations employees. The U.S. mission to the U.N. sent out a memo in July detailing the new international visa policy on the grounds that the same right is not granted to opposite-sex partners.

“Same-sex spouses of U.S. diplomats now enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex spouses,” the memo said. “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.”

The administration says the policy change is simply an update to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 legalization of same-sex marriage, but the details don’t quite add up. The majority of countries in the U.N. have not legalized same-sex marriage, and countries that criminalize homosexual relationships could prosecute diplomats who marry in the U.S. and return to their home countries.

Those affected by the policy who are already in the U.S. are required either to marry or to leave the country by the end of 2018. Foreign diplomats with pending posts in the U.S. are expected to show proof of marriage in order for their partners to be granted visas. Foreign Policy reports that at least 10 U.N. employees will be affected.

Read more at Slate


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