Advocacy

glifaa’s work has shown results in changed LGBT policies in Foreign Affairs Agencies, in media coverage of our issues, and in the advocacy in which our partners have engaged.

In 2020, our focus areas are threefold:

Protecting LGBT+ Foreign Affairs Employees from Discrimination
As an employee affinity group for LGBT+ employees, glifaa has no higher purpose than to protect its members from the threat of discriminatory treatment at work. 

  • Engage the Department and glifaa members regarding potential changes in Title VII employment discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • Participate actively in the Department’s diversity and inclusivity initiatives; 
  • Urge HR to strengthen protections in processes vulnerable to discrimination against LGBT+ employees; and
  • Work with the Department to ensure nondiscrimination announcements, ALDACs, and literature include the LGBT+ community.

Promoting Accreditation of Same-Sex Spouses
glifaa members want to keep their families together without being forced to sacrifice their ability to advance in their careers.  This can only happen when all posts and positions are open and safe for LGBT+ families. 

  • Actively advocate with CDA and regional bureaus to increase the number of posts that fully accredit same-sex couples and LGBTI families; and
  • Advocate for a non-voluntary Separate Maintenance Allowance (SMA) for families and spouses that cannot join the officer due to an accreditation issue. 

Advocating for Trans* Employees and EFMs
Trans* employees and EFMs face uncertainty and hardship that impedes their or their family members’ ability to do their jobs.  glifaa seeks to advance policies that provide clear protections for transgender, gender diverse, and intersex employees and their dependents.  

  • Advocate for the Department to establish written guidance for trans employees in the workplace similar to those in effect in the private sector and some other federal agencies; 
  • Engage with MED to request that all Department medical personnel consistently follow current patient sensitivity and clinical treatment protocols for transgender, gender diverse, and intersex patients; 
  • Increase engagement of transgender, gender diverse, and intersex employees and EFMs and their family members; and 
  • Speak up for transgender individuals through public statements and appearances at significant events.

Expanding Front Office Advocacy
glifaa’s many successes would not have been possible without the help of powerful allies within the Department.  glifaa aims to harness the power of these allies to support our goals and amplify our message. 

  • Engage with bureaus and M to issue recruitment announcements with nondiscrimination and diversity and inclusion statements; 
  • Engage in quiet diplomacy with the 7th floor and bureaus to advance issues of importance to glifaa members; and
  • Create a database of current and retired leaders glifaa can engage withwhen needed to advocate on behalf of glifaa members and support lgbt+ initiatives.

 

Strengthen glifaa as an Organization
For nearly three decades, glifaa’s advocacy has helped cultivate a better working environment for LGBT+ employees.  Much work remains. 

  • Ensure glifaa’s legal status aligns with the Department’s legal requirements and the FAM, and if needed, register glifaa as a non-profit, tax exempt organization; 
  • Organize frequent educational, professional, and social activities, including a regularly-scheduled, monthly networking event for glifaa members and allies;
  • Increase support for activities organized by glifaa post representatives abroad;
  • Improve glifaa’s communications strategy and modernize the glifaa website and social media accounts; and
  • Expand glifaa’s presence at Capital Pride, IDAHOTB, the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and other LGBT+ events.