The Vatican’s United Nations observer has criticised a proposed UN declaration which aims to formally condemn discrimination against homosexuals.

Monsignor Celestino Migliore, who represents the Pope at the UN, said that the church was against the measure because it could lead to countries being pressured to legalise same-sex marriage.

“If adopted, [it] would create new and implacable discriminations. For example, states which do not recognise same-sex unions as ‘matrimony’ will be pilloried and made an object of pressure,” he said.

The Catholic Church has spearheaded moves around the world to oppose the recognition of same-sex marriage, which it sees as a threat to the traditional family.

The proposed declaration was initiated by France, which currently holds the rotating UN presidency, and has been signed by all the countries of the European Union.

The draft declaration will be presented to the UN General Assembly on December 10, the sixtieth anniversary of the UN declaration of human rights.

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