The Trump administration has once again made life harder for the LGBTQ community, ironically, all in the name of equality.
In yet another crackdown on the pride community and Obama-era policies, the State Department has begun denying visas to same-sex unmarried domestic partners of foreign diplomats and United Nations officials. The department also requires partners already in the United States to get married — or get out.
“The Department of State will not issue a G-4 visa for same-sex domestic partners,” the U.N. human resources chief explained in a note to staff in September. “As of 1 October 2018, same-sex domestic partners … seeking to join newly arrived U.N. officials must provide proof of marriage to eligible for a G-4 visa or to seek a change in such status.”
What’s hysterical is the fact the State Department claims it is doing that all for the sake of equality and zero-discrimination.
“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. “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,” reported Foreign Policy.
In a 2009 affirmative action for the LGBTQ community, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the decision to grant visas to domestic partners of U.S. and foreign diplomats, out of concerns that many countries consider same-sex marriages to be illegal, resulting in officials from those countries forced to leave their unmarried domestic partners behind.
The 2009 policy did not allow the same for heterosexual domestic partners.
However, all that has now come to an end.
The Trump administration policy, which was implemented Monday, requires proof of marriage from domestic partners of foreign diplomats and U.N. officials residing in the U.S. by Dec. 31. Failing that, the domestic partners have to leave the country within a month.
As for domestic partners of diplomats and U.N. officials who are based abroad, they will now need to show proof of marriage to enter the country — because apparently the 2009 ruling was discriminatory against straight married couples.
Homosexuality is criminalized in over 70 countries, according to the Human Rights Watch. Foreign diplomats fear the new rule will increase hardships for LGBTQ couples in countries that don’t recognize same-sex marriages and they may be prosecuted for it.
Needlessly cruel & bigoted: State Dept. will no longer let same-sex domestic partners of UN employees get visas unless they are married. But only 12% of UN member states allow same-sex marriage. https://t.co/MjZpRVLYcf— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) September 28, 2018
As thing now stand, there are at least 10 United Nations employees in the U.S. who need to get married by New Year ’s Eve to have their partners stay with them.
The United States told foreign governments it would allow “limited exceptions” to its new ruling in case of diplomats belonging to countries where same-sex marriage is criminalized. However, their government would need to provide documents proving homosexuality is illegal and would have to accept same-sex partners from the United States.
However, this exception was not given to U.N. officials.
“With this change, the State Department is enforcing parity in the way they recognize opposite-sex partnerships and same-sex partnerships,” U.N. Globe said in a statement. “It is an unfortunate change in rules, since same-sex couples, unlike opposite-sex couples, have limited choices when it comes to marriage.”
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