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Published:May 24th, 2009 12:49 EST
Hillary Clinton Promises Equal Benefits For Gay Diplomats

Hillary Clinton Promises Equal Benefits For Gay Diplomats

By Robert Paul Reyes


"Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce that gay American diplomats will be given benefits similar to those that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, U.S. officials said Saturday.

In a notice to be sent soon to State Department employees, Clinton says regulations that denied same-sex couples and their families the same rights and privileges that straight diplomats enjoyed are `unfair and must end,` as they harm U.S. diplomacy.

`Providing training, medical care and other benefits to domestic partners promote the cohesiveness, safety and effectiveness of our posts abroad,` she says in the message, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press." The Associated Press/Matthew Lee

The Obama administration has a lot on its plate: Two interminable wars and an economy on the verge of collapse. Perhaps it`s understandable that gay rights wasn`t the first item on Obama`s agenda, however it`s now high time that the president address the issue of the discrimination that gays suffer on a daily basis.

It`s a shame and a disgrace that Obama shares the same Neanderthal approach to same-sex marriage as Miss California Carrie Prejean. Gay rights advocates should stop cutting Obama so much slack, and demand that he come out if favor of gay marriage.

Obama should move quickly and repeal the discriminatory "Don`t Ask Don`t Tell" policy that has resulted in the dismissal from the armed forces of thousands of gifted, intelligent and patriotic gays and lesbians.

But I commend the Obama administration for extending to gay diplomats the same benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

This change in policy sends a clear message to the world that America believes in equal rights for everyone, including the dedicated diplomats who serve our country abroad.