Advocates express concern over new State Dept. diplomatic visa policy

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new State Department policy that requires partners of foreign mission personnel and employees of international organizations to be married in order to qualify for a diplomatic visa has sparked concern among LGBTI rights advocates.

The Washington Blade last week obtained a letter from the State Department that states, “consistent with internal Department of State policy changes, partners accompanying officers and employees of international organizations or seeking to join the same must be married in order to be eligible for a derivative G-4 nonimmigrant visa or to seek a change into such status beginning October 1, 2018.” The letter also says the State Department as of Oct. 1 “will only accept the accreditation of spouses of newly arrived officers and employees of international organizations, both same-sex and opposite-sex, as members of the family of the respective international organization.”

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Tom Gallagher, U.S. Foreign Service officer, dies at 77

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Tom Gallagher, who became the first known U.S. Foreign Service officer to come out as gay in 1975 and who switched careers to become a social worker before returning to the Foreign Service in 1994, died July 8 in his hometown of Tinton Falls, N.J. from complications associated with a bacterial infection. He was 77.

In a write-up of his life and career that he prepared shortly before his passing and in an earlier interview published in the online publication Slate, he said he decided to disclose his sexual orientation at a 1975 conference in Washington, D.C., organized by the then Gay Activists Alliance called Gays and the Federal Government.

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