Trump’s policies keep getting weirder

Like this one about the gay partners of foreign diplomats

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7 thoughts on “Trump’s policies keep getting weirder

  1. The article says that the unmarried partner in a heterosexual relationship with the diplomat is not eligible for a visa either. If that is the case, why didn’t the State Department just say the partner of a diplomat the is not married to that diplomat is not eligible for a visa ? Why throw in the “gay” issue. Maybe the heterosexual ban is not really true ?

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      • HI Wayne and Neptune’s Dolphin. Let me clarify a bit on my other comment. Neptune’s Dolphin has a point — the law is on the face of it neutral on sexual orientation. I want to acknowledge that before I express the following doubts. It looks a bit like an old bait-and-switch. Figure out a policy that will clearly have a disparate impact on a group that is politically unsavory to you, and then couch the policy in neutral terms. (The Supreme Court has struck down similar laws that were neutral on their face but had a disparate impact on black Americans.) In this case, as someone noted, same-sex partners around the world clearly have fewer options than heterosexual partners and will be disproportionately impacted.

        Also the transcript of the State Department’s Oct 2 announcement (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/10/286385.htm) suggests that with the US legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015 there was a vague agreement in the State Dept “to change its policies to accommodate that Supreme Court decision,” but that this particular policy “was introduced in July of this year” (2018). And references to “same-sex marriage,” “same-sex partners,” etc. are in nearly every paragraph of the announcement transcript, so I suspect the policy may not be as innocent of that issue as it pretends to be.

        Finally, as you both might know by now, the hippie in me instinctively recoils at the whole institutionalization of human relations by marriage laws, etc., so I think everybody should get to bring in one partner, regardless of how enslaved they are to the institutional chains that bind 🙂

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  2. It has nothing to do with Trump. Following a *2014* case which the State Department lost involving a heterosexual unmarried couple, it decided to revoke all visas of all unmarried couples. It gave them four years to get married – hetero and same sex. 2018 December is the cut-off date. This was in the works under Obama.

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    • Interesting. Thanks. The history looks complicated. From the transcript of the State Department’s announcement on Oct 2 (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/10/286385.htm), it looks like with the US legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015 there was a vague agreement in the State Dept “to change its policies to accommodate that Supreme Court decision.” This particular policy “was introduced in July of this year” (2018). And references to “same-sex marriage,” “same-sex partners,” etc. are in nearly every paragraph, so I suspect this may not be as innocent of that issue as you suggest. And, as one commenter pointed out, it’s no secret that this will have a disparate impact on same-sex partners, whose options are much more limited in most countries. Again, though, it’s complicated, and I would like to continue to weigh your point of view among others.

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      • A lot of these things are more nuanced that what the media points out. It is worth noting that people are simply reactive with anything Trump does or doesn’t do. A lot of what he is criticized for, Obama and Bush also did. Looking at the Presidency, various historians have noted how dictatorial these Presidents were as well. It is the Imperial Presidency, now. People are questioning Trump’s actions which is a good thing. Hopefully it will translate into a stronger Congress and Court acting as a balance.

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        • On the one hand, I think Trump was and is a terrible choice for president. On the other hand, I agree with you 100% that the press misrepresents him daily. Trump accomplished overnight what Fox news had failed to do in 30 years — turn the mainstream press into a partisan hack machine. The sad thing is, Trump was doing enough on his own to look foolish without the press giving up its integrity. A self-inflicted wound by the 4th estate. I don’t trust them any more than you do.

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