April 9, 2016

Hillary’s Emails Indicate Hardship of Gay Diplomats in New Zealand

The US Department of State has released emails to and from Hillary Clinton that describe gay American and New Zealand diplomats encountering “significant hardship” while serving in both countries.
The emails were released in February and include correspondence from former New Zealand ambassador David Huebner, who held the position from 2009 to 2014 and who was the third openly gay ambassador the United States has ever appointed.

In an email written to Clinton’s chief of staff in 2012, Huebner thanked his administration for bringing up the issue of accommodation for his partner Dr Duane McWaine.

"Please convey...my deep thanks for raising with NZ Foreign Minister McCully the issue of diplomat same-sex spouse work accommodation.

"GNZ's [government of New Zealand's] refusal to extend to same-sex spouses (whether married, registered as domestic partners, or otherwise) the benefits granted to married opposite-sex spouses has caused significant hardship for several members of our mission as well as for a comparable number of Kiwi diplomats serving in the US."

In the email, mostly censored, he went on to say, "[Foreign service officers] with more limited resources, however, including [redacted] have been severely impacted by the situation.

"Including the issue on the agenda signalled to the Foreign Minister the importance of the issue...and I suspect that it will prod him into reopening the matter in some fashion, despite his prior flat refusal.”

The Department of State began to consider visa applications by same-sex spouses in the same manner as other unions in 2013 after the United States passed marriage equality legislation. 

Posted in:  New Zealand Daily News 
By GayNZ.com Daily News 

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