In response to the Administration's denial of visas to unmarried partners of LGBT foreign diplomats and United Nations employees, Center Action Network issued the following statement:
"The new policy which denies visas to unmarried same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and officials and employees of the United Nations is yet another effort to willfully negate the humanity of LGBTQ people.
This policy requires diplomatic partners be officially married in order to receive a visa. However, it is estimated that only 12 percent of United Nations member states allow same-sex marriage. Moreover, homosexuality is still punishable by death in a number of countries and is still criminalized in 72 countries. Denying visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and U.N. officials is a reversal of a policy that recognized that not all same-sex couples around the world have the freedom to marry.
Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the policy change “cruel, utterly unnecessary” and warned that it could open U.S. diplomats to retaliation. This type of targeting defies the very essence of our democratic principles. The LGBTQ community must show up at the polls on November 6th to enact change in the midterm elections."