On May 20, the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) approved comprehensive legislation to shore up U.S. foreign policy efforts, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 (H.R. 2410).
Sec. 333 of the bill which addresses discrimination related to sexual orientation has been stripped from the bill. According to Congressman Berman’s press statement:
After learning that 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, a provision on this issue was removed from the bill.
“I am deeply committed to ending the long-standing practice of treating the committed partners of gay and lesbian Foreign Service officers like second-class citizens,” Berman said. “I would not agree to strike a provision in my own bill if I did not feel confident that this would be taken care of by the Administration.”
Perhaps this year would be different. But before you get too excited about any part of this new legislation, I must caution you that similar bills had been introduced since the 108th Congress and all of them have ended up in dead pool.
Updated: Digger of Life After Jerusalem thinks this is a horrible idea, pointing out that as long as this is not in the books, it opens the possibility of a roll back by a future SoS. I have to agree. Just imagine if somehow somebody in the mold of a Trent Lott becomes the next SoS.