Trump administration will deny visas to same-sex partners of diplomats

The United States is denying visas to the

The policy gives the same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and United Nations officials until the end of the year to get married or leave the country.

Under the new rule, the us will refuse diplomatic visas to domestic partners unless they get married by the end of the year (those who do not get married by December 31st will have to leave the country).

In a statement to NBC News, a State Department spokesman doubled down on this reasoning, saying the policy change is "to help ensure and promote equal treatment" between straight and gay couples.

Officials also noted that the requirement would align the policy of the one that applies to United States diplomats overseas.

"The U.S. Mission to the United Nations portrayed the decision-which foreign diplomats fear will increase hardships for same-sex couples in countries that don't recognize same-sex marriage-as an effort to bring its worldwide visa practices in line with current U.S. policy", Foreign Policy reports.

The same was not true of same-sex couples, for whom a domestic partnership was enough for both to receive visas.

Affected couples could marry in the United States, but could face persecution upon returning to their home country.

"Needlessly cruel & bigoted", former ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said on Twitter.




Those who don't submit proof of marriage by 31 December will be required to leave the country within 30 days, the memo says. She said only 12 percent of United Nations member states allow same-sex marriages. "In light of the landmark 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the USA extends diplomatic visas only to married spouses of US diplomats".

The new policy reverses a 2009 procedure put in place by then-Secretary of Sate Hillary Clinton that allowed same-sex partners to obtain a G-4 or spousal visa.

But critics says the new policy will impose undue hardships on foreign couples from countries that criminalize same-sex marriages. One Nigerian man (not a United Nations staffer) who married his same-sex partner overseas reported that both he and his family members in Nigeria received death threats as a result. Tunisia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Indonesia, Uganda, and Russian Federation have arrested people for same-sex conduct. For those same-sex partners already in the USA and now holding a visa, a deadline has been set.

The policy change was announced in July, when the State Department said it would only "accept the accreditation of spouses, both same-sex and opposite-sex", beginning on October 1.

Diplomats would be eligible for "limited exceptions" under the Trump administration's policy if they can prove they are from countries that outlaw same-sex partners, the report said.

It comes despite the fact that the majority of countries do not recognize same-sex marriage and many same-sex couples face prosecution in their own countries. "Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Indonesia, Uganda, Russia, and many other countries have arrested people for same-sex conduct".

The only exception, however, would be same-sex partners of officials coming from countries that do not recognise same-sex marriage.

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