WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is formally endorsing a U.N. declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality, a measure former President George W. Bush had refused to sign.
[Unzipped: endorsed by Armenia too]
The move was the administration's latest step in reversing Bush-era decisions that have been heavily criticized by human rights and other groups. The United States was the only western nation not to sign onto the declaration when it came up at the U.N. General Assembly in December.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the administration would endorse the declaration.
AFP: Washington will join 66 countries, including all the members of European Union, in backing the measure put forth by France in December, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said.
"The United States supports the UN's statements on human rights, sexual orientation, and gender identity, Wood told reporters.
"The United States is an outspoken defender of human rights and critic of human rights abuses around the world," Wood told reporters.
"As such, we join with other supporters of this statement, and we will continue to remind countries of the importance of respecting the human rights of all people in all appropriate international fora," he added.