NEWS

Jamaica In A Spot Of Bother Over U.S. Same-Sex Diplomat

According to press reports, a diplomatic bangarang is in the making between Washington and Kingston over Jamaica’s refusal to accredit the spouse of an American diplomat.

The diplomatic row could put Jamaica’s relationship with the U.S. in a tailspin.

The dispute stems from Jamaica’s refusal to grant immunity to the partner of a diplomat who is set to do duties in Jamaica.

The report noted that “earlier this year the United States government wrote to the Jamaican government seeking its approval for the married partner of a diplomat about to be posted to Jamaica and who is in a same-sex relationship to be given diplomatic immunity and all the privileges of a diplomat.”

A government spokesperson is reported to have said that the approval of such a request would mean an acknowledgment of same-sex marriages, which is illegal on the island.

Washington has already made their retaliatory move by rejecting a request from the Jamaican government to extend the stay of three diplomats in Jamaica’s embassy and consulates in the United States.

The U.S. served notice that the three diplomats must leave immediately after their five-year diplomatic visa expires.

This new position taken by Washington is a deviation from the norm, where extensions to diplomatic visas for Jamaican diplomats beyond the five-year period are routine.

Among those affected are Jamaica’s ambassador to the U.S., Audrey Marks, and Consul General Oliver Mair, based in Miami, who the Americans say must leave and return to Jamaica this year.

It’s yet to be discovered what other diplomatic measures, if any, the U.S. government might take against Jamaica, given the government’s refusal to grant immunity to the spouse of one of its diplomats.

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Readers Bureau, Contributor

 Edited by Jesus Chan

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