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Peace Corps To Allow Same-Sex Couples To Volunteer

Logo of the US Peace Corps

Logo of the US Peace Corps

The Boy Scouts of America is not the only US organization to make a big announcement regarding gays, though the announcement from the Peace Corps also covers lesbians too. Specifically, it covers same-sex domestic partners who wish to volunteer overseas.

Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet stated that the change is meant to diversify the applicant pool. The job of the Peace Corps is to help improve the quality of education, healthcare, and economic development in host countries world-wide.

Married couples have been serving in the Peace Corps together since 1961 even though only about 7% of overseas assignments are currently filled by married volunteers who serve together.

Still, Peace Corps press director Shira Kramer informed CBS that they are not just going to place these volunteers someplace dangerous like, say, Uganda. Same-sex couples will only be placed in nations where homosexuality has not been criminalized.

Kramer stated “The Peace Corps will foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples and provide them with guidance for maintaining their safety and well-being. The agency will provide country-specific information to applicants once they are invited to serve, and Peace Corps staff will provide additional information and training once volunteers arrive in-country.”

There are other factors, of course, as to who will be accepted such as program availability, departure dates, medical accommodations and competitiveness. The couple will be required to sign an affidavit verifying their relationship status. The Peace Corps will begin taking applications on 3 June.

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