Italian premier says gay marriage issues up to Parliament

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ROME -- Italian Premier Mario Monti, who is being backed by the Vatican in his bid for re-election, says gay rights issues -- including gay marriage --should be decided by Parliament, not his government if he wins.

Monti said that issues involving personal dignity are more important that economic reforms, but stressed that his coalition forces came together to work on achieving economic growth in recession-mired Italy.

He says the new Parliament will have a greater role than the government in dealing with gay rights. He did not express his personal opinion on the issue.

Same-sex marriage isn't permitted in Italy. The Vatican, which carries significant influence in Italian politics, opposes same-sex marriage.

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