Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Thank You Toast

I just attended a thank you toast held by GLIFAA in the Delegates Lounge at Main State. The idea was to thank everyone who worked on getting the benefits the Secretary announced in June, particularly the 2,200 people who signed the letter to Secretary Clinton that GLIFAA delivered in January and all of the people who worked behind the scenes to make it happen.

U/S for Management Pat Kennedy, who is GLIFAA's official mentor (and has been an unwavering allie for LGBT Foreign Service families, said the benefits that were extended were the "rational and human thing to do, because you can't expect people to stay in [dangerous] places when they are separated from their loved ones." He said the extention of benefits was both the right thing to do in terms of business sense and the moral thing to do.

The next step of course in Congress. Currently, there are efforts towards passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) and we hope same-sex partners will be included in those efforts. And there is the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which will, among other things, extend health insurance benefits to same-sex partners. Both of these will directly impact the lives of LGBT Foreign Service families.

I think we have some great allies in the Department to help us reach those goals.

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