Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has agreed to correct inequalities for gay and lesbian diplomats at the State Department, said California Representative Howard Berman (D) Wednesday.

Berman, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a hearing on funding for the Foreign Service, said he believed Clinton would move to provide equal benefits for partners of gay U.S. Diplomats stationed in foreign countries, the AFP reports.

“[I]t is my expectation, based on very recent conversations, that the Secretary of State will move forward with implementing all of the benefits provided in that provision in the very near future,” Berman said, referring to legislation that would have required the State Department to offer such benefits.

Wisconsin's openly lesbian Representative Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, called on Clinton to make the necessary changes. In a letter dated February 2, Baldwin was joined by Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lentinen, a Republican, in asking for policy changes for gay diplomats that would not require Congressional approval.

Baldwin said that she had made similar requests to Clinton's predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, but little had come of the effort.

Under current State Department rules, gay spouses are classified as “members of household,” a designation with few benefits. Under federal DOMA, the department is barred from recognizing legal gay marriages.