Following up on our earlier post about Rep. Berman’s proposed legislation to extend benefits to the same-sex partners of officers in the U.S. Foreign Service, we learn that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is on the same track. The New York Times reports that Secretary Clinton recently sent a memo to an association of gay and lesbian Foreign Service officers to inform them that their partners will be offered the same benefits and protections as spouses of heterosexual officers.
“Like all families, our Foreign Service families come in different configurations; all are part of the common fabric of our post communities abroad,” Mrs. Clinton said in the memorandum….
“At bottom,” she said, “the department will provide these benefits for both opposite-sex and same-sex partners because it is the right thing to do.”
Among the benefits are diplomatic passports, use of medical facilities at overseas posts, medical and other emergency evacuation, transportation between posts, and training in security and languages.
And according to the Washington Post, the benefits will be extended to all unmarried couples, same-sex and opposite-sex alike. We are happy to see that the Obama Administration, and Secretary Clinton in particular, recognize that there are many different ways a family can be made.