May 24, 2009

Gay Diplomats to Receive Partner Benefits

Quietly, in my view (page A22 of the New York Times, page A18 of the San Francisco Chronicle), the State Department has promised to offer equal benefits and protections to the same-sex partners of U.S. diplomats. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton acknowledged that "Like all families, our Foreign Service Families come in different configurations."

The news came in a memorandum from Clinton to an association of gay and lesbian Foreign Service officers. It's a long time in coming and a welcome change, one that addresses issues of basic fairness and, as Clinton also remarked, one that will support recruitment to the State Department.