Today the United Nations announced that it will begin recognizing staff members’ legal same-sex unions.
Hyung Hak Nam (Alfonso), President of UN-GLOBE, a staff group of LGBT employees at the United Nations, wrote, “ What this means is simple: if you are in a legal union, the UN will recognize it. If you were thinking of entering into one, you can now do so with the full knowledge that the UN will recognize it.”
Previously, a UN staff member’s personal status was determined by the laws applicable in their country of nationality. With this change, the status will now be determined by the “law of the competent authority under which the personal status was established”.
While the UN has granted this opportunity to staff, anti-LGBT laws continue to exist around the globe. Just last week the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the “Protection of the Family” resolution, a resolution requiring the Council to host a panel and produce a report on protecting families. Because the definition of “family” in the resolution is narrow and excludes many families, like those led by single parents, grandparents, or LGBT parents, advocates fear the resulting panel and report will be used to further marginalize diverse family structures.
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