State Department changes visa rules for same-sex partners of foreign diplomats

State Department changes visa rules for same-sex partners of foreign diplomats

State Department changes visa rules for same-sex partners of foreign diplomats

The majority of 193 United Nations member countries do not legalise same-sex marriage, meaning diplomats face a tough choice. Now, domestic partners of UN staff who are already in the United States could face deportation "unless they submit the required proof of marriage".

The justification for this move is that gay marriage is now legal in the US, so it's only fair that gay and straight couples play by the same rules.

Reports suggest there at least 10 United Nations staffers in the U.S. who need to get married by the year's end to secure a visa extension for their partner. Affected couples could marry in the United States, but could face persecution upon returning to their home country.

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. And unmarried partners who aren't yet in the United States will not be eligible for visas to move there.

President Donald Trump's administration will stop giving visas to unmarried same-sex partners of United Nations employees, in a move which could endanger lives.

But critics said there was no reason for the change and that having spousal visas in the passports of same-sex domestic partners could expose them to prosecution and punishment in countries where homosexuality is illegal.

But the policy could pose a major problem for some diplomats and employees because in many countries, same-sex marriage still isn't allowed, with less than 15 percent of countries in the world recognizing it as legal.

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"The change in policy reflects the Department's goal to help ensure and promote equal treatment, consistent with the Department's policies regarding opposite-sex couples and derivative eligibility for visas in other visa categories", a State spokesperson in a statement.

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

Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas addresses the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in NY.

Deputy UN director Ms Kumar said: "The US government should recognise, as it had for nearly nine years until today, that requiring a marriage as proof of bona fide partnership is a bad and cruel policy".

David Pressman, former USA ambassador to the U.N. Security Council in the Obama administration, slammed the rule reversal because the U.N.is "composed of probably one of the most diverse workforces of any organization in the world".

"The US government should recognise, as it had for nearly nine years until today, that requiring a marriage as proof of bona fide partnership is a bad and cruel policy, one that replicates the awful discrimination many LGBT people face in their own countries, and should be immediately reversed".

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