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GLIFAAGays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (Washington, DC)
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With Clinton's blessing and Mills's open-door policy, junior staffers such as Patel--as well as GLIFAA members on up to deputy assistant secretary Dan Baer, the highest-ranking openly gay official domestically based at the department--have been able to effect change in the U.S.'s approach to LGBT issues, one that's visible from Serbia to New Zealand to Uganda.
If Patel and GLIFAA's Tollefson have a concern, they're never more than an e-mail away from getting on the chief of staffs calendar.
government on promoting human rights sends an important signal to the rest of the world, one that GLIFAA will continue to work toward advancing, as its opportunities and challenges as an employee affinity group and organizational network evolve.
In 1992, Department employees formed GLIFAA to challenge a security clearance process that discriminated against LGBT+ employees.
Over GLIFAA's 26-year history, the cultures of both the official foreign affairs community and broader American society have changed dramatically.
Hence, GLIFAA's work on behalf of advancing diversity and human rights for all employees across the foreign affairs agencies continues.
GLIFAA worked closely, and continues to coordinate with, the Department's Bureau of Human Resources to provide the most up-to-date and useful information for LGBT+ employees and their family members who are bidding.
Last November, I attended the 20th anniversary celebration of GLIFAA. As a result of GLIFAA's advocacy, personnel policies at the Department are evolving to provide equal opportunities for all employees.
GLIFAA Tel Aviv designed and sold 65 T-shirts that showed the gay pride/rainbow flag with the word "PRIDE" overlaid in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
"Many people ordered the T-shirt to support the event even if they couldn't make it," said Juan Arellano, GLIFAA member and parade participant.
One GLIFAA ally and parade participant said she marched to show her support of a cause that she believes deserves continued public attention.
Meanwhile at Embassy Mexico City, the public affairs section's "It Gets Better" video, involving local activists and a representative of the embassy's GLIFAA chapter, was viewed 2,220 times in its first week on YouTube.