Russia’s plan to stop UN from extending benefits to same-sex couples, foiled
In July UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the United Nations would now recognise all couples in same-sex marriages, allowing them to receive UN benefits.
The moved sparked hostility from Russia who has been planning to put Ban Ki Moon’s announcement to a vote since December.
Yesterday in a bid to prevent the UN from extending staff benefits to Russia’s UN employees in a same-sex relationship, the nation did just that finally making good on their threat of a vote and calling for an axing of the new benefits and return to the previous status quo.
Previously UN staff members’ personal status and benefits were determined by the laws of their country of nationality however Ban KI-moon’s changes mean the UN now recognises all same-sex couple who have been married, regardless of whether it is legal in their homeland.
The UN General Assembly budget committee voted 80 to 43 against the proposal to uphold Ban Ki-moon’s new efforts. There were 37 abstentions and 33 countries did not vote.
"We must speak plainly about what Russia tried to do today: diminish the authority of the U.N. Secretary-General and export to the U.N. its domestic hostility to LGBT rights," the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said in a statement after the vote.
In 2013 Russian President Vladimir Putin instituted an anti-gay propaganda law which severely limited the rights of the nation’s LGBTI people and sparked incidents of violence. The law received international condemnation.