Saturday, March 08, 2008

DMW: We Hire Gay People

Dead Men Working has an interesting take on Michael Guest's editorial in the Foreign Service Journal:

The Foreign Service does more than negotiate treaties and gather information. We continue, as we always have, to represent the United States. In many cases, an American diplomat may be the first or even the only American a foreign official might meet, and it is important that our service represent our country and its values.

When Ronald Reagan appointed Edward Perkins to serve as the first of what would be several African American ambassadors of the United States to apartheid South Africa, he did so to make a political point. To express, in his choice of representative, an American value. To make a statement about who we are, and who we represent.

When the State Department hires but discriminates against Gays, or any other group, they make a different statement:

"We follow the law, because we have to, but not because we believe it is the right thing to do."

Department leadership should take a stand. If it wants a Foreign Service that reflects the diversity of the American population, it should do more than eliminate impediments to hiring and promotion. It should actively promote not merely tolerance for diversity, but appreciation of diversity.

That means treating every employee, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, equally on all fronts.

Including overseas benefits. And security clearances.

Because it is the right thing to do.

You can read the entire post here: We Hire Gay People!


Anonymous said...

Would a gay ambassador be more likely to serve in a Western European country than a conservative Islamic one?

Digger said...

I would guess it would depend on the person. Most of the Western European Ambassadorships are given to political appointees anyway. I would certainly be happy to serve as an Ambassador in an Islamic country if they wanted to make me an Ambassador! :)