First UN expert on gender identity resigns

A spokesman for the U.N.'s Human Rights Council has confirmed that its first independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity has resigned for "personal reasons."

Spokesman Rolando Gomez confirmed the authenticity of a letter published Sept. 12 by the Washington Blade, the oldest LGBT newspaper in the U.S, in which Vitit Muntarbhorn informed the council president about his resignation effective Oct. 31, citing illness in his household.

Gomez told reporters Friday that a successor for Muntarbhorn will be named "in due course."

Muntarbhorn, who is from Thailand, was appointed last September.

Supporters of gay rights won a major victory at the United Nations in New York in December with the failure of an attempt by some African nations to stop Muntarbhorn's work.