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Russia Challenges UN Same-Sex Benefits

Russia has called for a vote at the United Nations to challenge a decision by the world body extending marital benefits to homosexual employees.

In July, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon instructed the United Nations to recognize all same-sex marriages of its staff, allowing them to receive UN benefits.

Previously, staff members' personal status was determined by the laws of their country of nationality. The United Nations now recognizes all same-sex couples married in a country where it is legal, regardless of their nationality.

The decision had angered Russia, which in 2013 adopted controversial legislation punishing the "propaganda of non-tradionational relations."

The General Assembly Fifth Committee, which deals with the United Nations' budget, wrote on its website that "action" would be taken on March 24 on Russia's proposal to reverse the benefits.

Russia argues that Ban's decision would force UN states that do not recognize same-sex marriages to cover some of the costs of these additional benefits.

Based on reporting by Reuters and

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