As Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice is used to dealing with civil unrest overseas. But this month it hit home.
After 26 years service in the Foreign Service, Michael Guest, the U.S. ambassador to Romania, resigned in protest of the State Department's policy on homosexual and cohabiting partners.
Why were is feathers all ruffled? He is frustrated that his boyfriend wasn't granted the same privileges as married spouses. Guest met with the Secretary personally and asked her to reconsider the rules.
Despite the political pressure in a department that employs roughly 350 homosexuals, Rice refused. As she should Acquiescing would not only violate the government's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) but create an unwise precedent of forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for lifestyles that many consider morally reprehensible.
Among the complaints, Guest says that same-sex partners don't have access to perks such as government medical care, anti-terrorism training, foreign language training, diplomatic passports or visas, and special emergency evacuation privileges.
Secretary Rice is right to refuse to compromise. As Pat Kennedy, the undersecretary for management, stated, "The Secretary and State Department do not discriminate in hiring or promotions. We are committed to giving our personnel the support they need to get their jobs done."
After 26 years Mr. Guest should have been well aware of the restrictions. It a shame he felt the need to toss away a career in the midst of his tantrum.