One Equal World

Peace Corps Extends Service Opportunities to Same-Sex Couples

Posted on: May 23, 2013

The Peace Corps is now allowing same-sex couples the same benefits as heterosexual couples when applying for service.

The Peace Corps is now allowing same-sex couples the same benefits as heterosexual couples when applying for service.

The Peace Corps has announced that same-sex couples will now be able to apply for benefits that could allow them to volunteer together overseas. In her exuberant announcement about the organization’s acceptance of same-sex domestic partners, Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said,

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

The Peace Corps previously permitted heterosexual married couples to apply for placement together, although individual volunteers are typically easier to accommodate, limiting opportunities for couples and lengthening application-processing times. Currently, married couples make up 7 percent of volunteers in the organization, a number that might increase with the new amendments to who is allowed to apply. The Peace Corps still requires that any couple applying to volunteer together be married for at least one year before entering the program, regardless of their orientation. Their application requirements stress the importance of full mental and physical preparedness in volunteering, because in their experience, unfamiliar and challenging conditions put great strains on newlyweds.

The organization is clearly thrilled with this development, placing a statement on their website that explains how the expansion of service opportunities will only diversify the pool of Peace Corps applicants, increasing the skill sets that volunteers impart. Since its founding in 1960, the Peace Corps has been a progressive organization, and now, more than ever, this is reflected by the volunteers that it consists of.

The application process will be available to same-sex couples beginning on June 3rd, 2013. For more information about how to volunteer with your partner or spouse, the Peace Corps Same-Sex Couples FAQ page offers helpful information that will help you to get started.

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