US, Vatican Won't Sign Declaration

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United States, the Vatican, Muslim
nations and most other United Nations members have refused to sign
a declaration calling for worldwide decriminalization of

A Vatican spokesman says the Roman Catholic Church opposes harsh
repression of gays and lesbians, but was concerned that the
declaration would be used to demand same-sex marriage.

According to some of the declaration's backers, U.S. officials expressed concern that the declaration raised legal questions, such
as how it might affect the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S.

Only 66 of the U.N.'s 192 member countries signed the nonbinding
declaration, but it was signed by all 27 European Union members, as
well as Japan, Australia and Mexico.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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