Trump Administration to Deny Visas to Same-Sex Partners of UN Diplomats and Staff

At the beginning of the month, the Trump Administration unveiled a new policy requiring international United Nations staff, officials, and diplomats working at the UN headquarters in New York to marry their partners by the end of the year, otherwise their partners will be deported.

Since 2009, the State Department has granted the domestic partners of UN staff and diplomats working in the United States visas. This policy shift, which will affect at least 10 current UN employees, is extremely discriminatory towards the LGBTQ+ community, especially considering that in over 70 countries homosexual conduct, including same sex marriage, is illegal.

While these employees have the option of marrying their partners in one of the 25 countries where same sex marriage is legal, including the United States, this could put these employees and their partners at risk or criminalize them in their home countries.

This announcement falls in line with a Trump administration agenda of undermining protections for LGBTQ individuals. A year ago, President Trump issued a memorandum attempting to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals serving opening in the United States military and forbidding the Department of Defense from providing needed healthcare to transgender service members. In January, the Trump administration announced the creation of a new division at the Department of Health and Human Services that seeks to defend healthcare workers who choose to discriminate against LGBTQ patients due to moral or religious objections. And just this spring, a federal court ruled against the Trump administration’s position that Title IX does not protect LGBTQ students from educational discrimination.

Media Resources: Human Rights Watch 10/1/2018; Foreign Policy 10/1/2018

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