On Monday, it implemented a policy denying visas to such partners if they're not legally married. One Nigerian man (not a United Nations staffer) who married his same-sex partner overseas reported that both he and his family members in Nigeria received death threats as a result. Tunisia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Indonesia, Uganda, and Russian Federation have arrested people for same-sex conduct.
The US is halting visas for same-sex partners of diplomats, raising concerns among LGBTQ activists who fear it will cause problems for foreign representatives. Those who do not will have to seek a change of visa status or leave the country to seek a new visa overseas.
But on a conference call with reporters Tuesday, senior administration officials emphasized said they undertook a change in policy to accommodate the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.
The policy change was announced in July, when the State Department said it would only "accept the accreditation of spouses, both same-sex and opposite-sex", beginning on October 1.
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.
Former UN ambassador Samantha Power blasted the decision on Twitter, calling the move "needlessly cruel and bigoted".
According to Foreign Policy, the rule is being applied retroactively, so same-sex partners of diplomats and U.N. officials who are already in the United Sates either have to get married by the end of the year or leave the country. Personnel were notified of the upcoming change in July.
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The US mission to the United Nations said the new requirement standardises its worldwide visa practices, following the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalising same-sex marriage.
An exception in the policy applies for same-sex partners of diplomats coming from countries that do not recognize same-sex marriage, but do accredit same sex spouses of American diplomats.
The department says it will allow "limited exceptions" if the home country's government provides documentation that same-sex marriage is illegal in the country.
The State Department said in a letter in July that the move is created to reflect the U.S.'s law on same-sex marriage in its global policies.
The new Trump administration policy update was circulated in a United Nations (UN) memo.
"Either they will have to get married or find some means to come separately and get married here at City Hall", he said.
Several others have some form of legal restriction, and same-sex relationships can carry the death penalty in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria.