Britain's Foreign Office didn't wait for enactment of the bill to recognize at least one gay male couple. Britain's ambassador to Luxembourg James Clark registered his partnership with Anthony Stewart under the Foreign Office's five-year-old plan extending benefits to unmarried partners. When Clark was given a formal audience with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, Stewart was by his side, as the first same-gender partner to be received by the Queen just as heterosexual ambassadors' spouses are. Clark is Britain's first openly gay ambassador and he and Stewart are the Foreign Office's first officially recognized gay couple to be sent abroad. They moved into the official residence in Luxembourg and attended social functions there together.
The reaction to his homosexuality in Luxembourg? “It was very welcoming, very open. There never seems to have been an issue. People just took it in their stride. It depends on how you approach it yourself. In a sense, you are in a position to create problems when you expect problems. Sometimes people then sense that worry. But if you are comfortable and approach people with the idea that there will be no problem, it's easier for everyone.” (http://www.paperjam.lu/article/fr/luxembourg-disproportionately-influential)
Clark is now Consul General at Chicago. He was called "a new breed of diplomat" by The Times.
A career diplomat, he was assigned to the European Union first secretariat in Bonn, Germany.
Clark's appointment as British Ambassador to Luxembourg in March 2004 was heralded with some small controversy, due largely to his being openly gay.
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