The United Nations (UN) will recognise gay marriage amongst its staff and employees, the organisation has announced.
The same sex partners of employees will now have access to the same benefits as the partners of heterosexual employees, including health insurance and home leave funding. Partners will also be able to take advantage of spousal visa rights.
The UN formerly only recognised same sex marriages conducted in countries in which such unions are legal.
UN-Globe represents employees of the UN who are LGBT. President Hyung Hak Nam said:
“Too many of us have suffered under the previous policy. Too many of us have been unable to secure, for example, residency visas and health benefits for our spouses because of a discriminatory policy that would refuse to recognize our legal partners. Let us just enjoy this moment, this huge victory.”
Gay marriage is currently legal in 18 countries worldwide, as well as in parts of some other countries, including the United States.
The United Nations has approximately 43,000 employees. The new regulation will also benefit the employees of standalone UN agencies such as UNICEF, which provides humanitarian aid to mothers and children, and UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.