The Vatican has condemned a United Nations Human Rights Council gay rights resolution sponsored by 85 countries including the United States.

The resolution expresses “concern at continued evidence in every region of acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity” and calls on counties “to take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, the Vatican's representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, told diplomats that people who oppose gay rights are at risk of losing their human rights.

“People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behavior between people of the same sex,” Tomasi said in a statement released Tuesday.

“When they express their moral beliefs or beliefs about human nature, which may also be expressions of religious convictions, or state opinions about scientific claims, they are stigmatized, and worse – they are vilified, and prosecuted.”

“The truth is, these attacks are violations of fundamental human rights, and cannot be justified under any circumstances,” he added.

Tomasi also likened being gay to pedophilia and incest.

“States can, and must, regulate behaviours, including various sexual behaviours,” he said. “Throughout the world, there is a consensus between societies that certain kinds of sexual behaviours must be forbidden by law. Pedophilia and incest are two examples.”

The Vatican opposed a 2008 United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the universal decriminalization of being gay because it could lead to the legalization of gay marriage.

Despite the church's teachings that homosexuality is a “disorder” and Pope Benedict's vocal opposition to gay marriage, a survey released Wednesday found a large majority of U.S. Catholics support civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples.