Britain has taken up with the Ministry of External Affairs the matter of diplomatic visas for the same-sex partners of “some” of its officials in India.
These partners of diplomats mostly stay in India on tourist visas, which restrict them in many ways. For instance, they cannot always travel with the diplomats.
In addition, India’s changed visa rules — which have made a two-month cooling off period between visits to the country mandatory — is coming in the way of their continued stay, the British have hinted at, according to sources.
Ministry officials said that as per existing rules, diplomatic visas are given only to spouses and financial dependents. And, there is no legal recognition for gay marriages in India.
Commenting on the problem, Dan Chugg, spokesperson for the British High Commission in New Delhi, said: “Same-sex relationships don’t have the same status as opposite-sex couples in Indian law. This relates to the Article 377 case (decriminalisation of homosexuality) going on in courts. We are watching this case.”
The British system allows same-sex partners for its diplomats.