UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Monday that the United Nations will recognize all same-sex marriages of staff members at the world body.
Previously, a staff member's personal status was determined by the laws of their country of nationality, said U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq. But now the United Nations will recognize all same-sex couples married in a country where it is legal, regardless of their nationality.
"The Secretary-General said human rights are at the core of the mission of the United Nations," Haq said. "He's proud to stand for greater equality for all staff. He also calls on all members of the U.N. family to unite in rejecting homophobia."
There are some 43,000 U.N. staff members around the world. Haq said the new policy came into effect on June 26. According to Human Rights Watch, same-sex marriage is legal in some 17 countries, as well as parts of Mexico and the United States.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Gunna Dickson)