News & Opinion | October 21, 2020 4:14 pm

Pope Francis Endorses Civil Unions for Same-Sex Couples

The historic stance represents a departure from traditional Catholic views

pope francis
Pope Francis has repeatedly espoused more progressive views than church leaders of yore.
Grzegorz Galazka/Archivio Grzegorz Galazka/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Pope Francis, who has repeatedly distinguished himself as a more progressive leader than his predecessors, has publicly declared support for same-sex unions, becoming the first pope to do so in the history of the Catholic Church.

The Pope made the groundbreaking remarks in a new documentary film, Francesco, released in Rome this week.

“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” the Pope said in the film, according to the Catholic News Agency.

Pope Francis also called for legal support for same-sex unions, saying, “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.”

In previous interviews, the Pope has suggested that he is not against civil unions, CNN noted, but the remarks in the documentary mark the first time Pope Francis has directly come out in support of the unions and called for laws to support that view. Francis did previously advocate for same-sex civil unions as an alternative when serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires during Argentina’s discussions of whether to legalize same-sex marriage.

The statements mark Francis’s latest display of support for more progressive views on sex and gender, ones that have often represented a significant departure from traditional teachings of the Catholic Church. Earlier this year, the Pope made headlines for espousing the virtues of sex, calling pleasure “divine” and claiming it “comes from God.”

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