Wednesday, December 24, 2008

United Nations: First Gay Rights Declaration Wins Much Support, United States Opposes It

This important story was not covered on our blog when it happened. Thanks for the reminder from The Huffington Post and the Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton!

DAVID CRARY December 19, 2008 12:08 AM EST AP

United Nations — Alone among major Western nations, the United States has refused to sign a declaration presented Thursday at the United Nations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

In all, 66 of the U.N.'s 192 member countries signed the nonbinding declaration _ which backers called a historic step to push the General Assembly to deal more forthrightly with any-gay discrimination. More than 70 U.N. members outlaw homosexuality, and in several of them homosexual acts can be punished by execution.

Co-sponsored by France and the Netherlands, the declaration was signed by all 27 European Union members, as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries. There was broad opposition from Muslim nations, and the United States refused to sign, indicating that some parts of the declaration raised legal questions that needed further review.

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