Diplomatic row brewing over same-sex marriage

US Embassy in Jamaica

A diplomatic row is reported to be brewing between the United States and Jamaica after the Jamaican government rejected a request to grant diplomatic immunity to the spouse of a US diplomat in a same-sex marriage.

It was reported that the US requested that all privileges given to a diplomat be given to the spouse of the diplomat who was expected to be posted in Jamaica shortly.

Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Jamaica

After the Jamaican government rejected the request, the US is reported to have retaliated by rejecting a request for an extension for three of five Jamaican diplomats based in the United States.

This move diverges from the existing practice, where extensions to diplomatic visas for Jamaican diplomats beyond the five-year period are typically granted as a routine matter.

Among those directly impacted by the decision are Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, and Oliver Mair, the Consul General based in Miami. Both officials have been instructed by American authorities to return to Jamaica within the current year.

At present, it remains uncertain what further diplomatic measures, if any, the United States government might take against Jamaica as a consequence of the denial of diplomatic immunity to the spouse of one of its diplomats. The ongoing disagreement has the potential to strain relations between the two nations, raising concerns about the future of their diplomatic partnership.