Diplomats' same-sex partners denied USA visas

The U.S. Consulate General in Vladivostok Russia is seen on Dec. 11 2017

The U.S. Consulate General in Vladivostok Russia is seen on Dec. 11 2017

The Trump administration on Monday stopped granting visas to the same-sex partners of diplomats and officials at USA -based global organizations, reversing a policy put in place by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009.

Diplomats with same-sex partners will have until the end of December to get married, or their partners will be sent home in January.

The US has announced it will deny diplomatic visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and United Nations employees. "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 visa.

But on a conference call with reporters Tuesday, senior administration officials emphasized said they undertook a change in policy to accommodate the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.

The change poses a problem for some same-sex couples who are not legally allowed to marry in their home country.

If foreign diplomats in America decide to marry their same sex partner while in the United States, they could face persecution once they return to their native country.

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

"But the Trump administration has cynically used the expansion of equality in the U.S.to target unmarried United Nations same-sex couples", Schlesinger said. If by the start of 2019 they're not married, they have 30 days to leave the country.

Unmarried heterosexual partners are also not eligible for USA visas.

Under a previous policy implemented by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the United States issued visas to same-sex partners regardless of their marital status.

"One Nigerian man (not a United Nations staffer) who married his same-sex partner overseas reported that both he and his family members in Nigeria received death threats as a result". In at least 73 countries same-sex sex is illegal.

The State Department said that 105 families will be impacted.

Officials, however, say they "will put processes in place" for supporting unmarried partners, pledging to consider situations on a case-by-case basis.

The United States issues diplomatic visas for the spouses of U.S. diplomats.

"It is not meant to be an attack". "It is a recognition and a codification of the fact that same-sex marriage is legal in the United States".

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