Partner Benefits – Limited to Hardship Cases Only

Regulations for Same-Sex Partners of LGBT Foreign Affairs Employees

In December 2014, GLIFAA was informed that State Department management intended to roll back its same-sex domestic partner protections (SSDP), because an opposite-sex unmarried couple had filed an equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint asking to be recognized as domestic partners.  GLIFAA, in partnership with our allies at the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), registered our protest, engaging with management to reconsider their decision.

The Department’s October 14 announcement makes this rollback official. However, the announcement includes a hardship exception. GLIFAA encourages all employees, who are in same or opposite sex relationships and face difficult circumstances, to follow the instructions for seeking an extension of SSDP protections.

Agency Policies

Please note that the SSDP related policies are in transition. Several agencies have implemented SSDP policies following these guidelines. Read their announcements and guidelines below.

Department of State

Other Agencies

Further Questions

If you have questions, please work with Human Resources Officers at post, or in Washington through personnel technicians, CDOs, and others as appropriate. This may be an education process for them just as it is for GLIFAA members, but it is important that we try to work through the system to help make it function.

Queries for State personnel that cannot be answered through regular channels can be directed through “Ask Admin” intranet site at or through the “Ask HR” site at . Questions for which there is not already a pre-written answer on either site can be addressed through the “submit a question” function. State Personnel can also send Questions/concerns directly to the Director General’s office through an email to “DG Direct” at

The GLIFAA board asks that those questions that can’t be answered through other avenues — or which present broader issues to be addressed — be sent to We also seek comments from members on how smoothly the process moves for them at posts and in Washington.