2009-01-26

Nearly 2,200 government employees involved in foreign policy issues signed a letter delivered to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton 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.

With the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act by the Supreme Court in 2013, these benefits are now available to married Gay and Lesbian partners.