Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce that gay American diplomats will be given benefits similar to those that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, U.S. officials said Saturday.Good news. Now if we can just get the administration to move more swiftly on ending the military's ridiculous "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
In a notice to be sent soon to State Department employees, Clinton says regulations that denied same-sex couples and their families the same rights and privileges that straight diplomats enjoyed are "unfair and must end," as they harm U.S. diplomacy.
"Providing training, medical care and other benefits to domestic partners promote the cohesiveness, safety and effectiveness of our posts abroad," she says in the message, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.
"It will also help the department attract and retain personnel in a competitive environment where domestic partner benefits and allowances are increasingly the norm for world-class employers," she says.
"At bottom, the department will provide these benefits for both opposite-sex and same-sex domestic partners because it is the right thing to do," Clinton says.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The State Department is ending its policy of withholding benefits from the families of gay diplomats: