OutRight Responds to UNGA 5th Committee Vote to Uphold Ban's “Personal Status Bulletin”

For Immediate Release
March 23, 2014

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-430-6018, strimel@iglhrc.org @STrimel

Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, gave the following response today to the U.N. General Assembly 5th Committee vote to uphold U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s “personal status bulletin” of June 2014 interpreting partnership benefits of U.N. Secretariat employees to include marriages performed outside of the country of the employee’s citizenship. The vote on the Russian proposal failed 80 to 43 with 37 abstaining.

“The failed effort engineered by Russia to undermine U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s authority deserved today’s fate. The vote was taken completely without justification and based on a specious argument that the Secretary General had overstepped his authority. He did nothing of the kind. Further, the vote offered a new twist on the kind of homophobic scapegoating we see globally. This was a disingenuous effort to shred the dignity of LGBT employees at the U.N., while clawing at the authority of the Secretary General. Those who sided with Russia should be ashamed of such a craven vote.”