House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,
February 14, 2008
For IMMEDIATE Release:
Ros-Lehtinen Urges Secretary Rice to Solve Workplace Inequities Faced by Gay and Lesbian Employees Working for State Department
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, suggested today that the U.S. Department of State must do more to solve workplace inequities faced by its gay and lesbian employees.
During a Wednesday hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Ros-Lehtinen urged the department to “consider the inequities that are facing many of these wonderful men and women who are often in very tough assignments and who need workplace protection.”
Ros-Lehtinen expressed concern that the department’s failure to designate same-sex partners as an “eligible family member” may be “leading many highly qualified people to leave the foreign service at a time when their talents are most needed.”
Ros-Lehtinen is urging the State Department to adopt administrative changes that will address these inequities.
“We ask much of our foreign service officers, many of whom serve under difficult circumstances. These revisions to departmental policy can be done without changes in existing law and will help our dedicated men and women to better serve the vital interests of our nation.”