Page 49 - FSJ_May12

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O
nMarch 11, Gays and Lesbians in
Foreign Affairs Agencies celebrat-
ed its 20th anniversary by hosting
a brunch. The event featured GLIFAA’s
founders, David Buss and David Larson,
who established the organization over a
similarbrunch inMarch1992. At that time,
gay and lesbian Foreign Service officers
couldbe subject to criminal investigations,
as the potential for blackmail of homo-
sexuals was considered a security threat to
the United States.
Buss and Larson shared with the
crowd, many of whom were founding
members, their own experiences of endur-
ing investigations, but they alsohadmuch
to report in the way of themany advances
that have been made since then.
The event was an opportunity to cele-
brate thegroup’s successesover thepast two
decades, butGLIFAAPresident T.J.
Lunardi and Ken Kero-Mentz,
GLIFAA’s outreach director and a
member of AFSA’s Governing
Board, noted that there is still
important work to be done.
“We remember the incredible
progress thatwehavemade in these
past two decades. We remember
that there are still challenges, and
that we are not yet truly equal,”
reflectedLunardi. “Andaswe con-
tinue the struggle,we remember the
most important lesson GLIFAA’s history
offers: a small, determined group of peo-
plewilling to sacrifice can truly change the
world.”
AFSAhas been a supporter of GLIFAA
since its inception. The association pro-
vided legal support toAFSAmemberswho
wereunder StateDepartment investigation
as a result of their sexual orientation and
helped the groupconnectwithother advo-
catesworking toenddiscriminationagainst
gays and lesbians. AFSAcontinues toadvo-
cate for equal benefits and equal opportu-
nities in the workplace for gay and lesbian
FS employees and fully supportsGLIFAA’s
work to end discrimination.
“I deeply admire the courage of
GLIFAA’s founders as they stepped forward
in those early days to challenge the depart-
ment’s discriminatory policies, insensitiv-
ityandunfair treatment,” says IanHouston,
AFSA’s executivedirector. “The fact is some
of our gayand lesbianemployees areamong
America’smost talentedandpatrioticpub-
lic servants. We are proud of our associ-
ationwithGLIFAA and privileged to rep-
resent and serve its members.”
MA Y 2 0 1 2 / F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L
49
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tevenAlanHonley, editor-in-chief of the
ForeignService Journal
since 2001, traveled to Lubbock on March 21 to deliver this
year’sWilliamS.Morris III Lecture atTexasTechUniversity’s
School of Mass Communications. To mark the ninth anniversary
of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which came just two days before his
appearance,Honleyaddressedthe topic, “Was theWar inIraqWorth
Fighting?”
After agracious introductionby retiredAmbassadorTiborNagy,
TTU’s vice provost of international affairs, Honley used his pre-
sentation to extol the courage, dedication and expertise of Foreign
Service personnel in Iraq. He reminded the audience that analysts
in State’s Bureau of Intelligence andResearch, virtually alone in the
U.S. government, hadwarnedwell before thewar that Bushadmin-
istrationclaims about SaddamHussein’s alleged ties to terrorismand
weapons of mass destruction had little basis in reality.
He also cited State’s 2002 “Future of Iraq Project,” which drew
onawiderangeof expertise topredictmostof theproblems theUnited
States would encounter after ousting Saddam.
Still,Honleyemphasized, as soonas the regime fell, ForeignService
members immediately volunteered to serve alongsidemilitary per-
sonnel under dangerous, difficult conditions. Many suffered post-
traumatic stress disorder or other serious injuries during their ser-
vice there.
He concluded his remarks by observing that even though U.S.
troops are nowgone fromIraq, Embassy Baghdad is still the largest
American diplomatic mission anywhere in the world—a distinc-
tion it is likely to retain for years as it works to support a sovereign,
stableandself-reliant Iraqthatoffersavoiceofmoderationanddemoc-
racy in the Middle East.
Honley then answered numerous questions from an audience
made up of faculty, staff and students from the university’s College
ofMassCommunications andDepartment of International Affairs,
local journalists andmembers of the Lubbock community, includ-
ing two city council members and a judge.
Later that afternoon,HonleyservedonapanelmoderatedbyAmb.
Nagy on “The Arab Spring: One Year Later.” That event was part
of theSigmaDeltaPiHonorSociety’sFourthAnnual ForumonPeace
and Security. As at the luncheon, Honley fielded several questions
from TTU students and other audience members following his
remarks.
FSJ
Editor Speaks at Texas Tech University
BY DONNA AYERST, AFSA NEWS EDITOR
GLIFAA Celebrates 20th Anniversary
BY CLINT LOHSE, AFSA LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT
(Left to right) GLIFAA members Bryan W. Dalton, president
from1998 to 2000; David Larson; David Buss, first president,
1992 to 1994; and Jene Thomas celebrate GLIFAA’s 20th
anniversary brunch onMarch 11. All four attended the group’s
founding brunch on March 8, 1992.