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United Nations rebuffs Russia resolution, approves benefits for spouses of gay staffers

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Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, said “the vote offered a new twist on the kind of homophobic scapegoating we see globally.”

“This was a disingenuous effort to shed the dignity of LGBT employees at the U.N., while clawing at the authority of the secretary general,” she said. “Those who sided with Russia should be ashamed of such a craven vote.”

Russia strongly opposes same-sex marriage and has adopted laws restricting gay rights activities.

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The country’s deputy ambassador Petr Iliichev alluded to this in urging support for the resolution, saying the directive Ban issued last June can provide the basis “for legal conflict with national legislation” of U.N. member states.

Iliichev criticized the secretary-general for adopting a plan that he said discriminates against many member states and changes a nearly 70-year-old policy.

“We think we should leave the status quo. It is an example of how the United Nations respects cultural differences,” Iliichev said.

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