U.S. visas denied to same-sex partners of diplomats


HRW deputy United Nations director Akshaya Kumar said Monday that the new policy will effectively "tear LGBT U.N. staff" from their partners. Otherwise, they'll be forced to leave the USA come 2019.

USA diplomats had announced the decision to foreign delegations in July, saying the move is meant to render department policy consistent between same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

There are now at least 10 U.N. employees in the United States who would need to get married by the New Year to have their partners' visas extended.

This means that to acquire a G-4 visa, a nonimmigrant United States visa for employees of worldwide organisations and members of their immediate families, partners of same-sex staff will have to marry or face not being able to live with their partners.

Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and bisexual babe. But only 12% of United Nations member states allow same-sex marriage. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he opposes same-sex marriage, but he has promised to treat all employees with respect.

Richard V. Gowan, a senior fellow at U.N. University, told CBS News he hopes the City of NY "will facilitate the marriages of any USA employees or diplomats who want to avoid these penalties". In over 70 countries, however, homosexual conduct remains illegal and in many, anyone found "guilty" can be sentenced to harsh punishments including years in prison or even public caning.

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The new policy grants some limited exceptions for diplomats representing countries where same-sex marriage is illegal.

Married same-sex spouses - like opposite-sex spouses - will still be eligible to enter the country, but it remains illegal in most countries around the world for same-sex couples to Wednesday.

Pressman, who advocated for global LGBT+ equality during his time at the United Nations, added: "If that's how you advance equality between same-sex and opposite-sex partners, then we have an enormous problem on our hands".

Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said she was also dismayed by the visa policy, calling it "needlessly cruel & bigoted" in a tweet last week. If they don't, their spouse will be expected to leave the country in 30 days.

Applying the same standard to same-sex couples will "help ensure and promote equal treatment", a US State Department spokesperson said.

'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, ' she wrote in a statement. In at least 73 countries same-sex sex is illegal.