The Vatican has likened being gay to incest and pedophilia in condemning a United Nations gay rights resolution.

Earlier this year, the United States backed a non-binding United Nations resolution condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cheered passed of the resolution in the 47-member Human Rights Council.

Obama called the resolution's passage a “significant milestone in the long struggle for [LGBT] equality.”

“This represents a historic moment to highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face around the world based solely on who they are and who they love,” Clinton said.

While the measure was backed by representatives from the European Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries, African and Islamic countries condemned the resolution, saying it had “nothing to do with fundamental rights.”

Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, the Vatican's representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, objected to the resolution, the Catholic News Agency reported.

“The archbishop expanded on a point he has previously tried to impress upon the Human Rights Council, as he observed that all societies regulate sexual behavior to some extent – by forbidding practices like incest, pedophilia, or rape – for the sake of the common good.”

While Tomasi reiterated that he does not support violence against gay men and lesbians, he also suggest that being gay is a choice.

“Instead of 'gender,' the concept we should use is 'sex,' a universal term in natural law referring to male and female,” Tomasi said.

“In fact, it seems that terms such as 'gender' or 'sexual orientation' are devised to escape reality and to accommodate a variety of feelings and impulses that then are transformed into rights.”