Trump Administration Halts Visas for Unmarried Same-Sex Partners of Diplomats

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The State Department gave affected couples until December 31 to marry, either in the United States or in a third country where same-sex marriage is illegal, and present a valid marriage certificate. They will be granted a diplomatic visa if the government which sends them to work in their embassies in the U.S. grants the same privileges to same-sex partners of USA officials sent to that country.

This, it said, was "an unfortunate change in rules, since same-sex couples, unlike opposite-sex couples, have limited choices when it comes to marriage".

HRW deputy United Nations director Akshaya Kumar said Monday that the new policy will effectively "tear LGBT U.N. staff" from their partners.

The new policy, which rolls back the work of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and LGBT+ rights champion UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, also affects World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff.

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

Nam, during a telephone interview with Fox News, said the new rule puts people slated to start assignments in NY at a greater risk in their home countries.

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"Effective immediately, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that we adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses", the State Department said on its website.

Exceptions may be made for those who come from countries that don't allow same-sex marriage but do accept US same-sex diplomatic spouses for accreditation.

"Same-sex spouses of USA diplomats now enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex spouses", the note said.

The Trump administration will no longer permit unmarried, same-sex partners of United Nations staffers and diplomats to enter the country with their partners. "But they could potentially be exposed to prosecution if they return to a country that criminalises homosexuality or same-sex marriages". 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.

It was detailed in a memo circulated to employees at the United Nations' headquarters in NY last month. Applying the same standard to same-sex couples will "help ensure and promote equal treatment", a US State Department spokesperson said.

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 global visa practices in line with current U.S. policy.

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