The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has been granted consultative status by the UN Economic and Social Council.

The US-based gay rights body has been lobbying for accreditation since 2007 and becomes the tenth LGBT rights organisation to be recognised by the council.

The 54-member council approved the group’s application for consultative status by a vote of 23-13 with 13 abstentions.

The decision means that the IGLHRC can participate in a more formal way with the UN through attending meetings, submitting statements and collaborating with the UN and world governments.

Cary Alan Johnson, IGLHRC’s executive director, said: “Today’s decision is an affirmation that the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have a place at the United Nations as part of a vital civil society community.

“The clear message here is that these voices should not be silenced and that human rights cannot be denied on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The group has been struggling to gain accreditation for the last three years and believes it was subjected to homophobic questioning and procedural roadblocks because it is a gay organisation.