In a development that LGBT activists say would have been unthinkable in the not too distant past, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) set up a booth at D.C.’s Capital Pride festival on June 9 where employees handed out a recruitment brochure aimed at the LGBT community.
“As a federal agency we are proud of our equal employment opportunities,” says the brochure, which is entitled, You Have Something Unique to Offer: Sexual Orientation and the CIA — Answers to Common Questions.
“We’ve already made significant strides within the GLBT community,” it says. “Now, we’re moving forward to even greater success. Share in our excitement of equality by applying for employment at the CIA.”
CIA employees staffing the booth, who identified themselves by their first name, said they were members of the Agency Network of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Employees (ANGLE), an officially recognized CIA employee group that helped to prepare the brochure.
The brochure and the employees staffing the booth said past restrictions against granting a security clearance for gays have long since been dropped as a result of an executive order issued by President Bill Clinton prohibiting discrimination in clearances based on sexual orientation.
The brochure says applicants for a CIA job aren’t required to disclose their sexual orientation but information about someone’s sexual orientation could surface during a routine background check.
“During the security evaluation process, for example, you could be asked about your close personal relationships, or about organizations you’ve been associated with,” the brochure says. “If such circumstances involved your orientation, you probably could not avoid disclosing your orientation.”
The brochure adds, “In all cases, candor and integrity are essential, and it is incumbent on the applicant to be honest and forthcoming in providing relevant information.”