The UN General Assembly has objected to a policy change that allows same-sex partners of U.N. staffers to receive benefits. Representatives from many Islamic and African nations and the Vatican, spoke out against Secretary-General Kofi Annan's directive to offer medical, pension and other benefits for same-sex partners. Some representatives argued that the General Assembly should decide what constitutes a family. Most U.N. regulations define marriage as a union between a man and a woman ? or between a man and up to four women for countries where polygamy is legal. The U.N.'s assistant secretary-general for human resources said after the vote that Annan would not change the substance of the policy, but would reissue the benefits plan after reviewing the assembly members' concerns.
See Maggie Farley, Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2004