Russia Fails To Block UN's Same-sex benefits


Russia has failed in its bid to block the United Nations from extending staff benefits to same-sex couples.

The vote – which would recognised gay spouses, regardless of whether or not gay marriage is legal in their country of origin – passed 80 to 43 against Russia’s resolution.

China, India Iran, India, Egypt, Pakistan and Syria were among the countries that supported Russia’s bid to block the benefits, reports the BBC. There were 37 abstentions, and 33 countries did not vote.

Before UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s announcement last July stating that the United Nations would recognise all same-sex marriages of its staff, allowing them to receive UN benefits, staff members’ personal status was determined by the laws of their country of nationality, reports The Guardian.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon

Russia’s deputy ambassador Petr Iliichev had called on the UN return to how the issue was previously regulated, citing it as “an example of how the United Nations respects cultural differences, the sovereign right of each and every state to determine its norms”.

Not every nation was unhappy with the outcome of the vote. “We must speak plainly about what Russia tried to do today: diminish the authority of the UN secretary general and export to the UN its domestic hostility to LGBT rights,” said US Ambassador Samantha Power after the vote.

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