WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today joined 19 of his colleagues in calling on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to amend a new Department policy that will halt the provision of diplomatic visas for unmarried, same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and employees posted to the United States or at U.S.-based international organizations.
“To bar LGBTQ diplomats from bringing their partners to the United States is to condone the discriminatory policies of many countries around the world,” wrote the Senators. “This new rule discriminates against diplomats from countries where same-sex marriage is still illegal. This new policy could not only deter foreign diplomats from bringing their families to the United States, but threatens the progress made on this front.”
In addition to Senator Cardin, the letter was also signed by senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Coons (D-DE), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Tina Smith (D-WI).
A full copy of the letter can be found here.