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m3n4.net December 12, 2018


Trump Administration to Deny Visas to Same-Sex Partners of Queer Diplomats

03 October 2018, 01:45 | Tara Lloyd

US visas denied to same-sex partners of diplomats

Trump Administration to Deny Visas to Same-Sex Partners of Diplomats, U.N. Officials

Foreign Policy, which first reported the story, estimates that as of this week at least 10 United Nations employees in the USA will be affected by the new policy.

The State Department will now "only be able to accept the accreditation and registration of spouses of newly arrived officials, both same-sex and opposite-sex, as members of the family of United Nations officials as of October 1, 2018", the memo states.

As of Monday, regardless of their home country's laws or customs, the administration has also started taking the extraordinary step of ordering any unmarried partners to exit the US if they don't marry by the end of the year.

"The Department of State will not issue a G-4 visa for same-sex domestic partners", a State Department memo reads.

Same-sex couples already inside of the United States could go to city hall and get married.

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Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power called the policy "needlessly cruel & bigoted". After year's end, the Trump administration expects unmarried partners to change visa status or leave in 30 days.

She noted that only 12 percent of United Nations member states allowed same-sex marriages.

Heterosexual couples must now be married to obtain the G-4 visa.

Same-sex marriage is legal in only 25 countries, including the United States, according to Human Rights Watch.

"The Department of State will not issue a G-4 visa for same-sex domestic partners", the United Nations human resources chief explained in a note distributed to staff last month. The domestic partner still could get a visa as a family member if the diplomat represents a country where same-sex marriage is illegal, so long as that country recognizes same-sex spouses of USA diplomats posted there. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he opposes same-sex marriage, but he has promised to treat all employees with respect.

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The United States informed foreign governments that they would allow "limited exceptions" to its new policy in cases involving diplomats from countries where same-sex marriage is illegal. For those same-sex partners already in the US and now holding a visa, a deadline has been set.

"The change in policy ensures consistent treatment between opposite-sex partners and same-sex partners by requiring that same-sex partners, like opposite-sex partners, must marry to qualify for derivative diplomatic visas", the official 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.

But that could put pose a problem for couples ineligible to legally marry in their home country.

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