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Global gay, lesbian rights group recognized by UN

GENEVA--The main global alliance of gays and lesbians, the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA), has been formally recognized by the United Nations against strong opposition from African and Islamic countries, according to a U.N. report issued on Tuesday.

Human rights activists said the move, by the world body's Economic and Social Council or ECOSOC, marks a major breakthrough for sexual minorities at the U.N. at a time when they are under increasing pressure in some developing countries.

In a vote overturning the stand of a New York-based U.N. committee, ECOSOC approved the granting of consultative status to ILGA — which has been seeking admission as a recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) for over a decade.

Consultative status means ILGA — the International Gay and Lesbian Association which says it has 670 member groups in over 110 countries — can attend U.N. meetings, speak, and provide information to U.N. bodies on treatment of gays.

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