India’s taboo on same-sex lost in UN

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New York: India was among the 43 countries that voted in support of a Russian-drafted resolution that proposed removing benefits for same-sex partners of UN staff, but the resolution failed to pass in the General Assembly committee after 80 nations opposed it. The Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, voted against the Russian proposal here Tuesday that aimed at stopping the UN from offering marital benefits to its employee with same-sex spouses.

The resolution would have had UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon withdraw his policy laying out the United Nations current rules for the personal status of staff members for determining their benefits and entitlements.

The policy made by Ban last summer had recognised same- sex marriages of all UN staffers, allowing them to receive UN benefits.

India, along with China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE voted in favour of the draft resolution, which had 37 abstentions.

Same-sex relations are a criminal offense in India. Ban has been a strong proponent of equal rights for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community and had said that he is proud to stand for greater equality for all staff.