Same-sex benefits proposed for U.S. diplomats

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    May 24, 2009 4:27 PM GMT
    Story Highlights

    Notice from State Department says extending partner benefits is "the right thing to do"

    Interagency review needed before policy change, senior administration official says

    Agency had long cited Defense of Marriage Law as reason to withhold benefits

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is proposing changes to the agency's benefits policy to fix "inequities."


    "The U.S. State Department wants to extend the same benefits to partners of gay and lesbian American diplomats as their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, according to a notice that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is preparing to send out to employees.

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is proposing changes to the agency's benefits policy to fix "inequities."

    "Historically, domestic partners of Foreign Service members have not been provided the same training, benefits, allowances and protections that other family members receive," the notice says. "These inequities are unfair and must end."

    The change, however, is not a done deal, a senior administration official familiar with the memo said Sunday morning. The State Department cannot change policies without interagency review, the official said." "

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/24/gay.diplomats.benefits/index.html

  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    May 24, 2009 5:51 PM GMT
    I can't find the email that a friend in San Francisco sent me some time ago (after the election, though) containing an article in the Federal Times (as I recall) that focused on Office of Personnel Management, the federal employment office, mention of a broad effort to extend benefits to all federal domestic partners/same-sex couples. It was only an OPM proposal, though -- and no news since then that I've heard.

    I think State Department would not be able to extend such benefits exclusively to federal employees only in the State Departmebnt, not the entire federal government. Just my opinion, though. Bravo for Hillary if she's at least pushing it!

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    May 24, 2009 10:26 PM GMT
    Caslon10750 said "Historically, domestic partners of Foreign Service members have not been provided the same training, benefits, allowances and protections that other family members receive," the notice says. "These inequities are unfair and must end."
    Funny how they are making this so hard. END DOMA, apply ENDA, and allow same-sex marriage and it is all a moot point. If they keep trying to clean up the mess by throwing us crumbs, they will just make it harder for everyone.
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    May 24, 2009 11:10 PM GMT
    Thank you Secretary Clinton...One small step in the right direction.
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    May 24, 2009 11:10 PM GMT
    ActiveAndFit said
    Caslon10750 said "Historically, domestic partners of Foreign Service members have not been provided the same training, benefits, allowances and protections that other family members receive," the notice says. "These inequities are unfair and must end."
    Funny how they are making this so hard. END DOMA, apply ENDA, and allow same-sex marriage and it is all a moot point. If they keep trying to clean up the mess by throwing us crumbs, they will just make it harder for everyone.

    It would be nice to get it done in one fell swoop. But piecemeal does get a certain momentum going while not setting off alarm bells because each is perceived individually. Eventually though, the case will be able to be made "Look, it's being done everywhere" and opponents will have a harder time refuting it or justifying a refutation since it will be a success and moot point in each instance. . icon_wink.gif