The US military at first refused to allow a lesbian congresswoman’s female partner to travel with her on a military plane on a congressional trip to Europe.
According to both Congressional and Military policy only official’s spouses can travel with them on such trips. The US government does not currently recognise same-sex relationships.
After intervention by the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Tammy Baldwin’s partner was eventually allowed on the flight which saw the delegation travelling to France, the Czech Republic and Poland last month.
Pelosi used her power to waive Congressional policy and wrote to Defence Secretary Robert Gates asking that he do the same in order to allow Baldwin’s partner to take part in the trip.
The Pentagon, which continues to bar lesbian and gay personnel from serving in the US military under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, said that that its waiver did not mean that this would automatically be the case in other similar situations.
It said that it would review such scenarios on a case-by-case basis.
“It’s a matter of fairness that spouses should be allowed to go, and she is Ms. Baldwin’s spouse,” Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Pelosi, told the Associated Press.