On Wednesday, November 28, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA), the State Department’s officially recognized employee affinity group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees.
Today, under the leadership of Secretary Clinton, LGBT employees at the State Department and their families have a level of benefits and recognition never before seen in foreign affairs agencies of the U.S. government. Most notably, Secretary Clinton is responsible for the extension of the full range of legally available benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners of Foreign Service members serving overseas. She also instituted the 2010 revision of the Department’s equal employment opportunity policy to prohibit discriminatory treatment of employees and job applicants based on gender identity.
Advocating for employees of the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Foreign Commercial Service, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and all foreign affairs units of the U.S. government, GLIFAA works to ensure full parity for LGBT personnel and their families in U.S. foreign affairs agencies serving both domestically and abroad.
GLIFAA began in 1992 to challenge a security clearance process that at the time discriminated against LGBT employees. GLIFAA has grown since that time to include hundreds of members and associates and become the officially recognized voice of LGBT personnel in U.S. foreign affairs agencies.
Members of the GLIFAA Board meet regularly with the management of the State Department, USAID, and other agencies to discuss ideas and solutions to address the continued concerns of LGBT personnel and their families. The issuance of a non-discriminatory policy by then Secretary of State Warren Christopher in 1994 was an early success. In the summer of 2009, GLIFAA was instrumental in encouraging the Department of State to grant Eligible Family Member (EFM) status to domestic partners of Department employees and to their children. This change was followed by a number of other agencies which send employees overseas.
Secretary Clinton, Counselor and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg, and GLIFAA President Ken Kero-Mentz will deliver remarks. Congressman David Cicilline, GLIFAA co-founder David Buss, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Baer will also participate in the program. The event will take place in the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin Franklin Dining Room from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The event will be open press for remarks.
Pre set for video cameras:1:00 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance Lobby.
Final access time for journalists and still photographers: 1:30 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance Lobby.
Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) A U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver's license, passport).