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05/22/2009

Since benefits aren't foreign, Clinton plans to make them so

by Jeremy Hooper

Hillary-clinton-gayAmong the circles of people who care about such gay-geeky things, there's been lots of chatter this week about Secretary Clinton's plan to expand State Dept. benefits so that they more adequately cover and protect the domestic partners of gay employees. Now in a new draft letter obtained by The Advocate, we learn some new information regarding the benefits that could soon come into play for the same-sex partners of foreign service officers working abroad:

DRAFT INTERNAL RELEASE

For Review

Today, I am pleased to announce that the Department of State will be extending a number of benefits and allowances to domestic partners of members of the Foreign Service assigned abroad.

While a career in the Foreign Service is rewarding, the demands to serve our country both at home and abroad also require great sacrifice by our Foreign Service personnel and their families as well. Family members often must uproot their lives, endure hardship conditions, and put their own careers on hold. Like all families, our Foreign Service families come in different configurations; all are part of the common fabric of our Post communities abroad.

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. 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. 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.
...

"At bottom"? What, are the tops being shut out of the hole whole thing? That seems rude.

But hey, it's just a draft letter -- maybe she's still working out the details. Brava, H-Clin!

KEEP READING THE LETTER (including detailed list of planned expansions): Clinton Ready For Equal Treatment at State? [Advocate]

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