Monday, May 25, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce that the partners of gay U.S. diplomats are eligible for many benefits currently denied them and allowed to spouses of heterosexual diplomats, according to lawmakers and others advocating the change.
The Bush administration had resisted efforts to treat same-sex partners the same as spouses. Thus those partners were denied a wide array of benefits, such as paid travel to and from overseas posts, shipments of household effects, visas and diplomatic passports, emergency travel to visit ill or injured partners, and evacuation in case of a security emergency or medical necessity.
Those benefits will be extended to all unmarried domestic partners -- both same-sex and heterosexual -- under the policy shift to be announced by Clinton in the coming days, according to a draft memo prepared for Clinton's signature. The draft was provided to The Washington Post by an official with the organization Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies.
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