“We find this to be deeply offensive,” the House Democrats said of the “out of wedlock” designation for children of same-sex couples.
While the policy predates President Trump’s election, the president’s critics have argued that the department’s efforts to preserve it are representative of other administration policies that have sought to dismantle protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Under the Trump administration, the Defense Department established a new policy for transgender troops that requires recruits to use the uniforms, pronouns and facilities for their biological sex. Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services circulated a memo across departments that sought to narrowly define gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by one’s genitalia at birth. In their letter, the Democratic senators also criticized the State Department for banning family visas for same-sex domestic partners of foreign diplomats or employees of international organizations who work in the United States.
This month, Mr. Trump nodded to Pride Month for the first time since taking office, when he announced that his administration had begun a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality, a move that was criticized by activists who pointed to the administration’s record on gay, bisexual and transgender issues at home.
“Let us also stand in solidarity with the many L.G.B.T. people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.
In their letter to Mr. Pompeo, the senators highlighted the case of the Dvash-Banks family, a married Israeli-American gay couple who had twin sons in Canada using sperm from each of the fathers. The biological son of the American received citizenship, but his brother, the biological son of the Israeli, did not.
In February, a federal judge sided with the couple, calling the State Department’s interpretation of the immigration law “strained.” The department is appealing the decision.
The lawmakers called on the State Department to drop its appeal and “make it clear that every U.S. married couple is entitled to the same rights under the U.S. Constitution, no matter whom they love.”