The Trump administration will deny visas to some diplomats’ same-sex partners as well as the partners of UN officials and employees. Partners already in the U.S. will also have to get married by the end of this year or leave the country within 30 days.
Some of these diplomats are from nations where same-sex marriage is still illegal or homosexuality is criminalized. In those specific cases, there is a risk of prosecution upon returning to their home countries.
The news has drawn criticism from gay rights advocates, calling it discriminatory. Critics also warn that foreigners may not come to the United States if their partners can’t accompany them.
Former U.S. ambassador Samantha Power tweeted, “Needlessly cruel and 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.”
Government officials said the policy change was meant to ensure requirements for same-sex and opposite sex partners were consistent.
The administration informed foreign governments that “limited” exception” would be allowed in these kinds of cases. Foreign governments would need to submit documentation proving same-sex marriage is illegal and commit to accepting the same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats. However, the exception was not offered to UN officials.