New Trump Policy Denies Visas to Unmarried Same-Sex Couples Working for the UN

On Monday, the Trump administration, who promised to be an ally to the LGBTQ community during the 2106 campaign, began denying G-4 visas to foreign diplomats, officials and United Nations staff members who are in unmarried same-sex relationships. Their only option? Get married by the end of the year, or get out of the country.

This blatant discrimination against the LGBTQ community reverses a policy enacted by Hillary Clinton in 2009 when she was secretary of state that extended the option for domestic same-sex partners to obtain a spousal visa. Now, every couple must be married in order to be eligible for a visa. In a statement, a State Department official says the policy was put in place to “promote equal treatment” between straight and same-sex couples, as straight couples were not able to obtain a G-4 visa without being married. But it's clear this change in policy will have a direct and adverse effect on same-sex couples and those in the LGBTQ community.

As Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., pointed out on Twitter, “Only 12 percent of U.N. member states allow same-sex marriage.” This leaves LGBTQ couples with an unthinkable decision: either marry in the United States, for those who are already in the U.S., and face potential prosecution upon returning to countries that criminalize same-sex marriage or find a new career. 

David Pressman, who worked as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Security Council for special political affairs during the Obama administration, told NBC News, “If thatā€™s how you advance equality between same-sex and opposite sex partners, then we have an enormous problem on our hands.”

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