LGBT rights: India justifies UN voting, says it’s not anti-gay

safe_imageIndia’s decision to vote against the U. N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s decision to extend marriage benefits to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) couples or same-sex couples has attracted a lot of criticism. India has justified it saying the vote had nothing to do with its being “anti-gay rights” resolution, but was more to do with the well-established norms for the staff of the global body.

“The UN had a system whereby they will decide on emoluments and privileges for the spouse depending on the country that the couple hailed from. This was the accepted norm. What happened was recently the UN Secretary General changed that out of his own volition without consulting anyone. That is why the decision was taken to vote against that resolution,” said Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry (MEA).

The UN Secretary General has been an ardent supporter for the LGBT community and has emphasised that he is proud to stand for greater equality for all staff. Mr. Ban Ki-moon has taken a strong stand on gay rights and has approved several decisions seeking to end discrimination and violence against the LGBT community worldwide. During his visit to India in January 2015, he appealed to the government to repeal its anti-gay law — Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality — calling it a “matter of human rights and human dignity,

India was among 43 countries, along with China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and UAE, which voted in favor of the resolution to withdraw benefits and entitlements to the same-sex couples.

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