Main | Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gays Petition State Dept For Benefits

It will be very interesting to see how Hillary responds to this.
Nearly 2,200 government employees involved in foreign policy issues signed a letter delivered to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday calling on the government to give equal benefits to same-sex partners. The Bush administration had eased some rules, opening up some training to same-sex partners, but had resisted efforts to treat homosexual partners the same as married couples. But Clinton, during her confirmation hearings, indicated a greater willingness to explore the issue.

"I think that we should take a hard look at the existing policy," Clinton said in response to a question from Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.). "My understanding is other nations have moved to extend that partnership benefit." The issue achieved prominence in 2007 when a respected ambassador, Michael Guest, resigned after 26 years in the Foreign Service to protest the rules and regulations that he argued gave same-sex partners fewer benefits than family pets. Guest said he was forced to choose "between obligations to my partner, who is my family, and service to my country," which he called "a shame for this institution and our country.
As referenced in the above excerpt, the State Department will reimburse an employee for the cost of moving a pet to a new assignment location, but provides nothing for a same-sex partner.

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