Peace Corps to Allow Gay Couples to Serve Together

by Sergio N. Candido

South Florida Gay News

Thursday May 23, 2013

Those looking to embark on a volunteering journey around the world can now do so -- with their partners alongside.

While the Defense of Marriage Act still defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman for federal purposes, the Peace Corps announced it would extend benefits to gay couples to allow them to serve as volunteers together overseas, according to NBC News.

The Peace Corps, a government-run volunteering program started by President Kennedy, will open up the application process for gay couples on June 3.

"Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience for Americans who want to make a difference around the world," said Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. "I am proud that the agency is taking this important step forward to allow same-sex domestic partners to serve overseas together."

Gay couples do not have to be married to apply to serve together. However, they will be required to sign an affidavit as evidence of their domestic partnership.

Since its establishment in 1961, more than 210,000 Americans in 71 countries have volunteered for the Peace Corps.

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