United Nations' Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, in a historic move, expressed his support to LGBT people on Tuesday.
He delivered the Leadership in the Fight against Homophobia speech at the United Nations on Tuesday afternoon in the presence of gay singer Ricky Martin and other LGBT activists. The speech was to commemorate Human Rights Day.
"More than 76 countries still criminalise homosexuality. I am pained by this injustice," Ban Ki-moon said.
Denouncing the prevalent violence against homosexuality around the world he said, " Let me say this loud and clear: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. They, too, are born free and equal. I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in their struggle for human rights."
He said that instead of discriminating against LGBT people for their sexual orientation and gender identity, work places, clinics, hospitals and schools should protect them.
Praising guest Ricky Martin for coming out of the closet, Ban said, "Let me say a big Bienvenido to pop sensation Ricky Martin. Muchas Gracias! You are a wonderful role model for LGBT youth and for all people. Thank you."
A Fox News report quoted Martin as saying, "For many years, I lived in fear... I was hating myself because I grew up listening to a very crooked concept: You're gay. You belong in hell."
Read the full text of Ban Ki-moon's speech here.