Russia failed Tuesday in a bid to stop the United Nations extending staff benefits to all same-sex couples after a U.N. General Assembly budget committee voted 80 to 43 against the proposal. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in July that the United Nations would recognize all same-sex marriages of its staff, allowing them to receive U.N. benefits. Previously, staff members’ personal status was determined by the laws of their country of nationality. But the United Nations now recognizes all same-sex couples married in a country where it is legal, regardless of their nationality.
Russia’s attempt was opposed by the United States and the European Union. Thirty-seven countries abstained from the vote. The United Nations has about 44,000 employees worldwide.
UPDATE: IGLHRC reacts:
The failed effort engineered by Russia to undermine U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s authority deserved today’s fate. The vote was taken completely without justification and based on a specious argument that the Secretary General had overstepped his authority. He did nothing of the kind. Further, the vote offered a new twist on the kind of homophobic scapegoating we see globally. This was a disingenuous effort to shed the dignity of LGBT employees at the U.N., while clawing at the authority of the Secretary General. Those who sided with Russia should be ashamed of such a craven vote.