The United Nations has announced that it will extend equal benefits to its employees who have entered into same-sex unions in jurisdictions where they are legal.
Under the new policy staff who have married a same-sex spouse in a jurisdiction will receive the same benefits and recognition as those in heterosexual marriages regardless of whether same-sex marriage is legal in their country of citizenship.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon made the policy announcement yesterday, saying 'equality begins at home'.
'Human rights are at the core of the mission of the United Nations,' he said.
'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.'
The United Nations LGBTI employee group UN-GLOBE welcomed the policy change, saying they hoped it will be recognized throughout the many arms and programs.
'With this new policy in place at the UN, I believe that the entire UN system will follow suit, if history is any guide. And if any agency, fund or programme still refuses to change, we will make sure they hear from us,' UN-GLOBE president Hyung Hak Nam said.
'This includes the UNJSPF, our pension fund. In fact, with this new policy in place at teh UN, it is my hope that the pension fund will be under a lot of pressure to change its discriminatory policies towards staff. And we will be front and center advocating for change.'
However he said there was much more work to be done before all LGBTI UN employees were treated equally in all aspects of their relationship with their employer.
'We have to address homophobia and transphobia in the workplace,' he said.
'We have to make sure staff members' sons and daughters - our families, not only our partners - are recognized.'