"Needlessly Cruel."


As of October 1, the Trump administration is longer granting visas to the unmarried, same-sex domestic partners of foreign officials and diplomats, including employees of the United Nations. 


Effective Monday, same-sex partners of foreign diplomats only have until the end of 2018 to either get married or leave the United States, ​according to USA Today. 


This marks the implementation of a ​memo which had been circulated around the United Nations headquarters in New York last month.


The State Department's website currently states, “Effective immediately, US Embassies and Consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that we adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses.”


Those on the right are defending the move point out that this is actually a step forward: The partners of unmarried heterosexual diplomats are also ineligible for a visa. One of the reasons the exemption existed in the first place was because of the country's now-defunct ban on gay marriage.

People on the left, however, criticize the move as discriminatory. This is, in part, because ​very few countries outside of the United States even recognize same-sex marriage, making it impossible for many diplomat couples to meet the requirements. 


While diplomats will be able to get married in the United States, some might face persecution when return to their home country.


Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the UN under President Obama, called the move "Needlessly cruel [and] bigoted."

The move by the ​Trump administration is a reversal of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's policy which ​expanded the definition of  "family member" to include same-sex domestic partners. 


Adam Johnson is an editorial intern at Pluralist.

You can reach him on Twitter.