For the first time since it was founded in 1961, the Peace Corps has announced that the organization will begin accepting applications for same-sex couples to serve together overseas. Officials from the Peace Corps believe the change in policy will diversify the pool of applicants wishing to do humanitarian work abroad, and toughen the competitiveness of the process.
Currently, about seven percent of Peace Corps assignments are filled by married couples serving together. But there’s extra protection for same-sex couples hoping to take advantage of the change in policy; press director Shira Kramer told CBS News this week that same-sex couples will only be placed in countries “where homosexual acts are not criminalized” for safety reasons.
“The Peace Corps will foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples and provide them with guidance for maintaining their safety and well-being,” Kramer continued. “The agency will provide country-specific information to applicants once they are invited to serve, and Peace Corps staff will provide additional information and training once volunteers arrive in-country.”
The Peace Corps will begin accepting applications for same-sex couples on June 3. For more information on how to apply, visit the Peace Corps website.