US: Administration seeks protection of refugees' LGBT spouses

Without much fanfare, the Obama administration recently took a significant step towards helping LGBT people fleeing persecution. The State Department is expanding its interpretation of the term "spouse" to include partners of same sex refugees and asylum seekers.

Buried in the State Department's annual report to Congress on refugee program admissions for fiscal year 2016, the government announced that it will allow an already qualified refugee to apply to bring their same-sex partner to the United States even if they are not legally married.

The refugee has to file an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) providing evidence that the relationship has existed for at least one year overseas prior to the application; the relationship is on-going; and legal marriage in the home country was not possible due to "social and/or legal prohibitions." Read more via NPR