UN committee approves benefits for spouses of gay staffers

U.N. will now give benefits to all spouses of gay U.N. staffers who are legally married after Russia and other opponents of same-sex marriage failed Tuesday in an attempt to scuttle the plan by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Currently, family benefits for U.N. staff members are determined by their country of origin. The secretary-general’s plan will give family benefits to all staffers who are legally married — regardless of the laws on same-sex marriage in their home countries.

The vote offered a new twist on the kind of homophobic scapegoating we see globally…Those who sided with Russia should be ashamed of such a craven vote.

Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission,

Forty-three countries supported a Russian-sponsored resolution that called for the U.N. chief’s plan to be dropped, while 80 countries opposed it and 37 abstained. The Russian resolution was supported by many Arab and Muslim countries as well as China, India and Zimbabwe. Members of the European Union and the United States lobbied hard against the resolution and were relieved that it was defeated.