Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Gay Grenades

Gay Ambassador Resigns Over State Department’s Discrimination Against Gay And Lesbian Employees.

Appointed by President Bush in 2001 to be Ambassador to Romania, Michael Guest was the first publicly gay man to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a U.S. Ambassador. Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell explicitly noted the presence of and positively recognized Guest’s same-sex partner, Alex Nevarez, during the swearing-in ceremony. The Human Rights Campaign called Powell’s acknowledgement of Nevarez a “small gesture that spoke volumes.”

But serving as an openly-gay ambassador under the Bush administration proved not to be as pleasant as his swearing-in. Guest retired recently, and at his retirement ceremony, “he did what few people do — displayed uncommon courage and threw a rhetorical hand-grenade into his own party.” The New York Times reports, “Guest took Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was not present) to task for failing to treat the partners of gay and lesbian foreign service officers the same as the spouses of heterosexual officers.” Guest said that was the reason for his departure:

“Most departing ambassadors use these events to talk about their successes . . . But I want to talk about my signal failure, the failure that in fact is causing me to leave the career that I love,” said Mr. Guest, 50, whose most recent assignment was dean of the leadership and management school at the Foreign Service Institute, the government’s school for diplomats.

------- "Uncommon courage?" Groan.

Now why do I have a hard time believing the b.s. above. Can it be because it took Michael Guest, a 25+ year career diplomat, so long to recognize his "signal failure"? Or that it took 6 years under his own BushCo party snubbing to signal failure? Seems more likely Mr. Guest has federal retirement lined up and now issuing a personal political statement (before joining the board of some corporation or founding his own company). Another social warrior waging a token battle after securing the pension and benefits.

Snubbing gay ambassador partners includes : "... gay partners are not entitled to State Department-provided security training, free medical care at overseas posts, guaranteed evacuation in case of a medical emergency, transportation to overseas posts, or special living allowances when foreign service officers are assigned to places like Iraq, where diplomatic families are not permitted."

Lemme get this straight (no pun intended) – taxpayers are to cough up living allowances to support partners of officers assigned to places like Iraq? And free medical care for partners? Hey buddy – it's a job offer – if you don't like the benefits and environment – don't accept the position. After all, there are plenty of minimum wage jobs which snub benefits and are eager to employ courageous folks.

Although Guest is the first gay to be confirmed by the senate he was not the first openly gay ambassador. That honor goes to Clinton's recess appointment of James Hormel (meat heir) to Luxembourg.

Hopefully, Alex and Mike enjoyed their European adventure; living in the Bucharest ambassador's residence, dancing at embassy balls, enjoying the city's high life reputation - even if sometimes on their own dime. I have yet to find if Alex Nevarez-Guest has a career or if he's a stay-at-home partner.

For hardcore conspiracists Michael Guest is/was a member of the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations), supposedly the promotional arm of America's ruling elite in the New World Order.

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