Ambassador-designate introduces partner to panel
The gay man tapped by US President Barack Obama to be the next American ambassador to New Zealand has introduced his partner to a Senate confirmation hearing.
Ambassador-designate David Huebner has introduced Duane McWaine to the Senate panel, noting that the couple have just marked twenty years as a couple.
If confirmed, Huebner will be only the third openly gay ambassador in US history. In 1999, after a battle in the Senate President Clinton appointed gay philanthropist James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg by pushing his appointment through during a congressional recess.
In 2001 President George W Bush appointed Michael Guest as ambassador to Romania, making him the second openly gay ambassador and the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the Senate to such a post. In 2007 Guest resigned from the State department due to the Foreign Service's refusal to extend to same-sex partners the rights available to straight partners such as diplomatic status, travel allowances and security training.