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On Thursday, the European Parliament — the elected legislative body of the European Union (EU) — agreed to consider a policy that would require travel visas for all U.S. citizens visiting any of the EU’s 28 member nations. The policy would be a direct “tit-for-tat” response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s requiring of visas for U.S. visitors from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania, all of which are EU members.
EU officials have said they’d rather resolve the issue diplomatically with the U.S. government, but if they can’t, the Parliament could approve the measure as early as May 2017.
A large number of LGBTQ travelers visit the EU’s member countries, which include such popular destinations as Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the U.K. (for now) and a number of Eastern European countries.
Not only would visa requirements create additional costs and delays to American LGBTQ travelers, but it would inconvenience thousands of American businesses who regularly send employees abroad, including our own. These companies help bolster pro-LGBTQ policies within the other countries where they do business.v
Put another way, Trump’s restrictive immigration policies could in the end hurt LGBTQ travelers, American business and LGBTQ rights across Europe.