Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, applauded today’s vote in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) granting the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commissions (IGLHRC) consultative status.

“Despite the numerous roadblocks thrown in its path, I’m pleased that IGLHRC’s quest for consultative status was finally approved. Not only was today’s vote a victory for LGBT rights, but it also sends an important signal that the United Nations is open to hearing the voices of a diverse array of civil society organizations.

“This victory is particularly significant since IGLHRC will be the first US non-governmental LGBT organization to be approved for consultative status at ECOSOC. Today’s vote would not have been possible were it not for the hard work of Ambassador Susan Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative at the United Nations, who has been an important advocate of LGBT rights at the U.N.”

The U.S.-sponsored resolution passed by a vote of 23 in favor, 13 against, 13 abstentions, and 5 absences. This will allow IGLHRC to attend meetings, submit statements and collaborate with the UN and governments in the international human rights arena.