The United Nations announced that it would now extend equal benefits to its employees in same-sex partnerships, a major policy shift that recognizes marriage equality.
Human rights for everyone
Before, the UN only recognized the unions of employees who came from nations where same-sex marriage is legal. Now anyone who marries where marriage equality is acknowledged is included.
“Human rights are at the core of the mission of the United Nations,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said when announcing the policy. “I am proud to stand for greater equality for all staff, and I call on all members of our UN family to unite in rejecting homophobia as discrimination that can never be tolerated at our workplace.”
Under the new policy, employees of the UN Secretariat who have married a same-sex spouse will receive the same benefits and recognition as those in heterosexual marriages.
Among other employee benefits, the UN’s move means gay spouses can get health insurance coverage and a chance to accompany spouses on their home leave every couple of years.
The change, however, does not affect all of the nearly 50 UN organizations, though some of them had policies recognizing same-sex unions.