State Department Proposes Benefits for Same-Sex Partners of US Ambassadors

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will announce a plan to provide benefits to same-sex partners of United States ambassadors and diplomats soon, according to media reports. Currently, a large number of benefits afforded to married spouses of US ambassadors are unavailable to same-sex partners including issuance of visas and passports, access to employment opportunities at embassies, paid travel to a partner’s post, and evacuation in emergency situations, according to the Washington Post.

A leaked State Department notice of the change states: “Historically, domestic partners of Foreign Service members have not been provided the same training, benefits, allowances and protections that other family members receive….These inequities are unfair and must end….Providing training, medical care and other benefits to domestic partners promote the cohesiveness, safety and effectiveness of our posts abroad,” reported CNN.

According to United Press International, the State Department has previously rejected expanding benefits to same-sex partners on the basis of the Defense of Marriage Act.


CNN 5/24/09; Washington Post 5/24/09; United Press International 5/24/09

Support eh ERA banner