On Thursday, U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Tammy Baldwin, Howard Berman and Gary Ackerman sent this letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:
"We have followed with great interest and concern the media coverage of the workplace inequities facing gays and lesbians in the U.S. Department of State. As in the case of Former Ambassador to Romania Michael Guest, the inequitable treatment of gay and lesbian Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) and their partners should not be allowed to lead highly qualified employees to leave the State Department at a time when their service is needed more than ever. Many of these inequities could clearly be remedied through your leadership as Secretary, without legislative changes. We write to highlight basic and common-sense policy changes that beg your prompt attention and ask that you act to make eliminating inequities facing gays and lesbians at the State Department a priority.
"By not including same-sex partners in the definition of an “Eligible Family Member” (EFM), the Department excludes them from many of the benefits, protections, and services that are enjoyed by family members of married FSOs, and that are important to the safety, effectiveness, and morale of our communities abroad."
Download the entire letter: Download ros-lehtinen.pdf