Changes to government employment policy were and attack on gay people, Henry Waxman, the representative for California, and member of The Government Reform Committee, asserted.

“The Bush administration is waging a covert war on loyal federal employees who happen to be gay,” he said.

“The Bush administration is waging a covert war on loyal federal employees who happen to be gay,” he said.

The changes in wording are part of the revised policy which grants or denies security clearance for government employees. Though officials maintain that the change is to the wording alone, not to the policy, the matter is causing a stir in Washington.

The original regulation, rafted in 1999 read that sexual orientation “may not be used as a bias” in deciding who should be given security clearance, and who should not. The amendment rewrites this policy, changing “may not be used as a bias” to “may not be used solely as a bias”

“solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual.”

Democrats have spoken out about what they see as subtle discrimination against gay people. The Boston Globe notes with some pride that it’s Senator, Susan M Collins, will be “seeking clarification” on the amendment.

Nevertheless, the White House is adamant that the only amendment is in the language, clarifying the policy. Spokesman Scott McClellan, “there’s no change in our policy.”

Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, said that he felt there were bigger issues at stake than a word alteration. Having a policy is all very well, but does the Bush Government enforce it? He wondered.