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Mission Diversify: CIA Begins LGBT Recruiting

As part of the CIA's efforts to diversify its workforce, the spy agency is reaching out to a group that once was unable to get security clearance — lesbians and gay men.\n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

1st January 2013 03:24

Alessia Valenza | ILGA North America

Earlier this week, CIA officials held a networking event for the Miami gay community sponsored by the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the CIA.

"This is the first time we’ve done a networking event of this type with any of the gay and lesbian chamber of commerces in the United States," says Michael Barber, a self-identified "straight ally" and the spy agency’s LGBT Community Outreach and Liaison program manager.

For many years, the CIA and other federal agencies routinely denied security clearances to gay men and women, until President Clinton signed an executive order ending the practice in 1995. Now, Barber says, the CIA even has a program for gay couples.

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