HRC Praises State Dept's End to Discriminatory HIV Policy Toward Foreign Service Officers

by HRC Staff

&quotDiscriminatory policies such as these serve no public health function,&quot said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese

WASHINGTON- The U.S. State Department has lifted the ban on individuals with HIV serving as Foreign Service officers. As of last Friday, February 15, the blanket ban was replaced with a policy of reviewing applicants with HIV on a case-by-case basis. The change in guidelines came less than two weeks before trial was set to begin in the case of Taylor v. Rice, a lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of Lorenzo Taylor whose employment offer with the Foreign Service was rescinded after he disclosed his HIV status.

"We applaud Lambda Legal for their successful efforts to overturn this ban," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Discriminatory policies such as these serve no public health function and continue to promote stigma and prejudice against individuals with HIV. We hope the federal government will continue moving forward and remove other barriers which prevent it from employing the best and the brightest such as allowing same-sex domestic partners to participate in employment related benefits programs."

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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