Aaron over at Adventures By Aaron talks this morning about some of the challenges still facing same-sex couples joining the Foreign Service. He says:
"Under Secretary Clinton, the partners of Foreign Service Officers are now counted as Eligible Family Members (EFMs), which impacts the square footage provided to the FSO's in their overseas assignments. I now qualify for emergency evacuation in times of crisis. I am able to get a job in a consulate or embassy and earn a salary in US dollars vs. local currency. I am provided all of the tools necessary to learn the language spoken at our post.
Our biggest concern is the continued inability for me to obtain health care benefits under TJ's plan. It is not enough to be an EFM. We must be in a federally recognized marriage for me to qualify for health care. What this means is that, unlike any other spouse, I must find employment when we leave the country. It means that, when I quit my job in September to start language training, I will either be without medical coverage, or will have to pay higher premiums for private coverage."
It is worth remembering that while we have come a long way, we are still a long way from full equality. Consider if Aaron had been from another country, for example. Then not only would he not get health insurance, he would not even be able to live in the U.S. while his husband is doing a D.C. posting. And at the end of their careers serving this country, they would be unable to retire to the country they loved and had devoted their lives to.
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