NEW YORK, December 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Speaking on the 62nd anniversary of the U.N.’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Friday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an end to laws criminalizing homosexuality and demanded greater respect for homosexual and “transgender” “rights.”

‘‘Today, many nations have modern constitutions that guarantee essential rights and liberties. And yet, homosexuality is considered a crime in more than 70 countries,’’ the UN chief said. ‘‘That is not right.’‘

The UDHR, he said, ‘‘is not called the ‘partial’ declaration of human rights. It is not the ‘sometimes’ declaration of human rights. It is the universal declaration, guaranteeing all human beings their basic human rights - without exception.’‘

The UN secretary’s statement was attacked by Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), who told LifeSiteNews that Moon is “reading the homosexual agenda into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”  The UDHR, he said, covers homosexuals as much as anybody else, but “it does not include the homosexual agenda.”

“There’s a solid of block of at least 60 countries in the UN general assembly who will not allow this to happen,” he added.

Moon spoke at a major gathering organized at the UN headquarters by homosexual activists.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice expressed outrage over a recent vote at a General Assembly committee that excluded mention of “sexual orientation” from a condemnation of the extrajudicial killing of vulnerable people worldwide.

Rice promised that the United States will sponsor an amendment to the resolution.  ‘‘We’re going to stand firm on this basic principle,’’ she said.

They were joined also by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who spoke by teleconference.  The Anglican prelate compared the homosexual effort to the fight against apartheid in South Africa.

Ruse said, however, that American blacks should find Tutu’s comparison “deeply offensive because there’s a vast difference between something that is in-born like race and something that is caused by psychological factors or trauma.”

The comparison between race and “sexual orientation,” he said, is “deeply offensive” to nearly half the U.N. General Assembly, if not more.

While he acknowledged that opposition to homosexuality goes too far in certain parts of the world, Ruse pointed out that homosexuals in North America and Europe are “among the richest, most accomplished, most lauded people in our society.”

“To say that they are compared to the people that have suffered under apartheid is ridiculous,” he said.

“What this is really all about is mainstreaming the homosexual agenda,” he continued.  “It is not simply about ending capital punishment and the criminalization of homosexuality. ... It’s about putting the homosexual agenda on par, and actually above, freedom of religion.”