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Russia fails to stop UN from offering benefits to all married same-sex staff

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United Nations Building in New York. Picture: Doug Armand

United Nations Building in New York. Picture: Doug Armand

Getty Images

United Nations Building in New York. Picture: Doug Armand

Russia has failed in its bid to stop the United Nations from giving benefits to all of its married same-sex staff.

On Monday, the country put forward a proposal to stop the General Assembly from extending staff benefits to same-sex couples.

The measure was defeated though when the UN's budget committee voted 80 to 43 against it.

Had it passed, the proposal would have affected around 43,000 UN employees around the world.

Russia has been at odds with the UN for the last 12 months after Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that same-sex couples would be offered the same benefits given to those in opposite-sex relationships.

The change scrapped a previous law which meant that staff members’ marital status was determined by the laws of their country of nationality.

Now, same-sex married couples will be allowed benefits if they are married in a country where it is legal.

Russia requested that the the General Assembly Fifth Committee, which decides the United Nations budget, vote to overturn Mr Ban's decision, in the wake of its controversial anti “gay-propaganda” law, which sparked an international outcry before the start of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Critics denounced the law as discriminatory and said it is a curb on rights to free speech and assembly.

Online Editors