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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

More gratuitous cruelty from the USA’s current regime

There are plenty of times the current regime controlling the White House does something that is obviously wrong. Sometimes, though rarely, it’s not obvious that there’s something wrong with their actions, and rarest of all is when the regime does something truly awful, but to supporters of the regime it looks perfectly fine and reasonable. Yesterday brought an example of this sort of thing.

Yesterday the regime announced that it would no longer give diplomatic visas to the same-gender domestic partners of United Nations staff or diplomats unless the couples are married. They’re spinning it as merely ensuring all couples should be treated equally. That’s false.

Under the new policy announced Monday (US time), unmarried couples have until December 31 to prove they’re married. If they don’t, then the non-diplomat partner will be required to leave the USA within 30 days.

The regime points out that normally the partner of a diplomat or UN official must be married to the diplomat in order to get a diplomatic visa. This is why the supporters of the current regime would think this policy is okay—because it’ll “treat all couples the same”. There are good reasons for the old policy.

The State Department changed the rules for un-married same-gender couples in 2009 to help gay people avoid persecution. Currently, only 12% of UN members recognise marriage of same-gender couples—but that’s not the biggest problem: As of last year, 72 countries and territories criminalise homosexuality, which means gay people there could be sentenced to prison. Worse, 10 countries or parts of them have the death penalty for homosexuality.

What this means is that unmarried same-gender couples could face prison or worse when they return home after getting married in the USA in order to meet visa requirements. So, in essence, the current regime is potentially forcing same-gender couples to choose between love and life.

The obvious question here is why is the current regime doing this? There’s no reason they couldn’t have just continued the current policy and protected vulnerable LGBT couples. But, they didn’t. Why? The most likely reasons for this policy change are: Anti-gay animus, personal grudges, hatred of the United Nations, or a combination of one or all of these motivations.

The current vice president is a vicious anti-LGBT bigot who has been working quietly out of sight to erode the rights of LGBT people in the USA in line with his ultra-extremist religious views. He wants to go much farther, and if the regime controls the Supreme Court he may get his wish. This policy change is an easy way to screw over LGBT people without getting a law change through Congress.

In considering a personal vendetta as a motive, consider this: The person who implemented the previous policy, allowing un-married same-gender couples to be together without marriage, was then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The current occupant of the White House hates her with a blood-lust second only to his hatred of President Obama. The hatred of the Clintons by Republican Party leaders is well-known and decades old. So, this would be an easy way to undo one of the very good things that Secretary Clinton did, just as the current occupant has been working hard to erase President Obama from history.

Third, this regime despises the United Nations. This is obvious, among other reasons, because of the way the current regime constantly belittles and alienates long-term allies and praises brutal dictatorships. In fact, as Foreign Policy reported exclusively, the current regime has been secretly working to cut off funding for UN programs they don’t like, in direct defiance of Congressional intent. This policy change could really be just another way to stick it to the UN.

The most likely explanation is the regime’s anti-gay animus, given how hard the current vice president has pushed his anti-LGBT agenda. The revenge factor would have appealed to the current occupant, and would be enough to get him enthusiastic about it, but the anti-gay animus is by far the most likely reason for the sudden change.

The United States doesn’t permit citizens to sponsor their partner for immigration unless they are married—and these days, not even that is enough as they routinely deny residence to the legal spouses of US citizens, and even deport the non-citizen spouse. Most Western countries have far more sensible and humane policies, allowing citizens—and usually permanent residents—to sponsor their partner for residence, regardless of gender and whether they’re married or not.

However, this isn’t about ordinary citizens, but, rather, about people who come to the US to work for diplomatic missions or the United Nations and want to bring their same-gender partner with them. By forcing them to marry or split up, the current regime is being gratuitously cruel—another reason to suspect it’s the vice president’s work.

There are plenty of times the current regime controlling the White House does something that is obviously wrong. Yesterday brought an example of this, and of their abject cruelty.

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