In a move veiled as an attempt to “promote equal treatment,” the Trump administration has moved to deny visas to unmarried, same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and officials and employees of the United Nations. If the officials’ partners want to stay with their significant others, they will be forced to get married or leave the country and their partners.
According to USA Today, at least ten current United Nations employees would need to get married to get their partners’ visas renewed. Since heterosexual partners of foreign diplomats and UN employees aren’t eligible for U.S. visas, it would seem to be equal treatment. For the casual observer, that would seem to make sense now that same-sex couples legally marry in the United States.
However, as is typical of many Trumpian policies, it fails to consider the complex realities involved, as well as the humanity of the persons it would put at risk of persecution, death, and separation from their families at home.
The Trump Admin. must realize that in 70+ countries, same-sex couples face punishment by law. By requiring same-sex partners of diplomats to show proof of marriage, the Trump @StateDept is creating a crisis that could rip families apart. Must be reversed. https://t.co/Xq475S9cVG
— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) October 2, 2018
Only 12 percent of the 193 United Nations member states allow same-sex marriage. So, for those people who decide to get married for a visa, they risk persecution when they return to their home countries. That visa could result in criminal proceedings for some who represent the most oppressive government regimes.
The Admin’s decision to halt visas for same-sex partners of diplomats is arbitrary and dangerous, with the majority of countries not allowing same-sex couples to legally marry and 71 countries criminalizing same-sex relationships.
— Nita Lowey (@NitaLowey) October 2, 2018
For others, they will be forced to make a call to separate from their loved ones back home or to refuse a job.
“Those not yet in the country will need to show they’re married to secure a visa, potentially forcing those living in countries without marriage equality to choose between a posting at UN headquarters or family separation,” Akshaya Kumar, deputy United Nations director at Human Rights Watch, wrote in a blog post.
It’s one more move that shows that Trump is totally out of touch and does not understand the difficulties for same-sex couples in America and definitely not in the larger world. Either that, or he just doesn’t care.
It’s hard to imagine how the Trump administration would push for this policy change ahead of the midterm elections. Minorities and women must vote for the party that values equality and decency. We know for sure that will eliminate a vote for Republicans today.
Discarding all logic, the Trump administration is punishing LGBT diplomats under the guise of “equal treatment.” By now, the LGBTQ community expects this from Trump and the current GOP and that is why everyone who supports equality must vote blue.
While the United States now honors marriages between same-sex couples, 88% of @UN member countries do not. And now the Trump Admin is punishing LGBT diplomats for it. Unacceptable. https://t.co/GWSrl7zM61
— Carolyn B. Maloney (@RepMaloney) October 2, 2018
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