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Mario-MontiItalian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who is being backed by the Vatican in his bid for re-election, has said gay rights issues – including gay marriage – should be decided by parliament, not his government if he wins.

Mr Monti said yesterday that issues involving personal dignity are more important that economic reforms.

But he stressed that his coalition forces, which include pro-Vatican centrists, came together to work on the more “urgent” task of 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. Mr Monti did not express his personal opinion on gay marriage.

Same-sex marriage is not permitted in Italy. The Vatican, which carries significant influence in Italian politics, opposes same-sex marriage.

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