POLITICS

Gay Ambassador Resigns Over Discrimination In State Department

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

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 ." 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:

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