Secretary of State Hilary Clinton paid tribute to the State Department’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) organization. The ceremony was held in the State Department’s historic Ben Franklin room for the first time.
After receiving a standing ovation Clinton thanked the crowd for what she called their courageous actions in the face of historic discrimination. The secretary lamented that homosexuals could not serve openly in the State Department until 1992.
“The policy forced people to lie or mislead or give up their dreams of serving this country all together,” she said noting that it was under her husband’s first administration that federal gay employees received equal rights and partner benefits. Clinton said during her tenure she’s made expanding State Department policies to be more LGBT friendly a priority.
“Our people should not have to choose between serving the country they love and living the life with the people they love,” she said.
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