- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gay or lesbian domestic partners who want to serve together in the Peace Corps may start applying for assignments this summer.

“Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience for Americans who want to make a difference around the world,” Carrie Hessler-Radelet, deputy director of the Peace Corps, said Tuesday.

She announced that gay couples can begin their Peace Corps application process as of Monday June 3.

“I am proud that the agency is taking this important step forward to allow same-sex domestic partners to serve overseas together,” she said.

Married couples have been serving together in the Peace Corps since its inception in 1961.

Currently, 7 percent of Peace Corps assignments are filled by married volunteers who offer services in the fields of education, health, economic development, environment, agriculture and youth development.

Same-sex couples seeking joint assignments will have to sign an affidavit to verify their relationship as part of their documentation requirements.

Couples seeking to serve together must apply at the same time and qualify for assignments at the same post, the agency noted.

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