State Department Deputy Spokesman Patrick Ventrell during the State Department daily press briefing on Wednesday:
QUESTION: Since I brought up the question of same-sex marriage, much was made today after the hearings about the fact that under DOMA, Defense Of Marriage Act, that more than a thousand federal provisions affect what same-sex couples can and cannot do. Has this building looked at, if the court were to declare DOMA unconstitutional, what sorts of policies regarding international adoptions, visas for travel, for business, for education, what family reunification policies – has this Department looked at what changes it would have to make administratively in order to meet that sort of ruling?
MR. VENTRELL: I’d have to check in with that. Obviously, when we have pending legal decisions or new legislation that involve our operations, we obviously always look into it and see how it affect our operations and we comply with – whether it’s court rulings or new legislation on various issues. But just to note that former Secretary Clinton during her tenure really made some strides in terms of, for example, the rights of folks who work in this building who are LGTB and their ability to have their partners travel with them as diplomats and fully participate in our community. So there have already been some major strides made in this building in terms of our own personnel that are positive.
QUESTION: As diplomats or as kind of spouses?
MR. VENTRELL: My understanding is some of the changes allowed the personnel to travel as part of – officially part of the embassy community and under diplomatic privileges. So some of those changes have already been made administratively here in this own Department.
QUESTION: Quasi – in a manner similar to a spouse?
MR. VENTRELL: That’s my understanding, yes.
QUESTION: Okay. Do you know about foreign diplomats? Do they have the right to bring their same-sex partners as – to the United States with the same privileges?
MR. VENTRELL: I’m not sure, Brad, but I can take the question.