Administration promises partner benefits for federal employees

by on May 20, 2009  •  In Congress, Employment law

In a signal that broader change is coming, the Office of Personnel Management asked the House Foreign Affairs Committee to drop language from an authorizations bill that would have mandated partner benefits for gay Foreign Service officers. According to the committee website, "the Administration intends to end the practice of excluding the committed partners of Foreign Service officers from the benefits routinely provided to the spouses and children of officers serving abroad."

Committee Chair Howard Berman called former ambassador Michael Guest, now active with the Council for Global Equality, to his office before the hearing to explain that the provisions were being removed from the bill in response to a call that Chairman Berman had received earlier in the morning from John Berry at OPM.  Berry promised Berman that the matter would be addressed  by the administration through regulatory change within the coming weeks. Efforts by Guest and the Council were instrumental in securing this and several other pro-lgbt provisions in the bill.

UPDATE: See comments section to this post, where Julie Dorf, senior adviser to the Council, has posted a link to a video of Secretary of State Clinton's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also yesterday. At the 95-minute mark, Clinton responds to a question by Senator Feingold on this same issue by confirming that a decision will be announced soon.


One Response to Administration promises partner benefits for federal employees

  1. Julie Dorf May 21, 2009 at 12:44 AM

    You can also see Secretary Clinton address the issue today in a Senate Foreign Relations Committe hearing in response to Senator Feingold’s questions — it’s at the 95 minute mark –

    link to

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