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United Nations Foundation COO Rick Parnell: Supreme Court Ruling a Victory for Human Rights

San Francisco, CA —   June 26, 2015

On the heels of today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming a constitutional right to equal marriage for same-sex couples across the United States, United Nations Foundation Chief Operating Officer Richard S. Parnell issued the following statement:

“Today’s landmark decision by the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage throughout the United States is a victory for human rights in this country and a moment to reflect on the importance of human rights for everyone, everywhere.

“This ruling is a chance to reinforce our global efforts to recognize and uphold everyone’s right to live with freedom and dignity – a core part of the work of the United Nations.

“On this historic day, listening to President Obama’s remarks, I was struck by the way the President described this decision as one that sends an important message to the world about ‘dignity.’ As a gay man dedicated to these issues on both a personal and professional front for many years – and helping to lead an organization that supports the UN’s efforts for a free and equal society – ‘dignity’ is a principle that is important on many levels.

“Supporting the dignity of women and men everywhere should be a core focus of our work to support human rights globally. For me, there were moments when it was impossible to imagine that this kind of recognition could bring dignity to people like me. But today’s decision is also an opportunity to recognize and empower those who are fighting for dignity around the globe.

“The United Nations, under the leadership of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has been at the helm of pushing for global progress for LGBT equality, launching a Free & Equal campaign, among other steps. The Secretary-General hailed today’s decision as ‘a great step forward for human rights in the United States,’ and continues to be a leading global voice that LGBT rights are human rights.

“As we commemorate the historic signing of the UN Charter 70 years ago in San Francisco, this is an opportune time to reflect on how far we’ve come in protecting human rights in the world and how far we still need to go. Now is the time to reinforce, reinvigorate, and rededicate ourselves to promoting the dignity of everyone, everywhere. This effort supports the spirit of the UN Charter and the spirit of human rights around the globe.”


About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. Learn more at