US To Deny Visas To Unmarried Same-Sex Partners Of Diplomats, Ends Policy Enacted In 2009 Under Obama

NBC News reports:

The State Department on Monday began imposing a new policy that restricts visas for the same-sex partners of staff of U.S.-based international organizations, such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The State Department’s website on G-4 visas currently states: “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.”

That means that U.N., World Bank, and IMF staff from countries that do not recognize same-sex marriage face a stark choice: enter a relationship that could result in prison time back home, or abandon their relationship for their career.

Foreign Policy reports:

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. 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 international visa practices in line with current U.S. policy. In light of the landmark 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the U.S. extends diplomatic visas only to married spouses of U.S. diplomats.

The new policy —which enters into force Monday—requires that foreign domestic partners of diplomats and U.N. officials posted in the United States must show the State Department proof of marriage by Dec. 31, or leave the country within 30 days. As of today, domestic partners of diplomats and U.N. officials based abroad will need to show they are married in order to enter the country on a diplomatic visa.