Pope Francis says same-sex couples should be ‘legally’ protected by civil unions
Pope Francis is calling for same-sex couples to be "legally" protected by civil union laws.
"Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family," the Pope says in a new documentary, Catholic News Agency reports. "They're children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it."
Later, Pope Francis defended his remarks in the film, saying, "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered."
"I stood up for that," he added.
The Pope said nothing about the morality of same-sex relationships, which the Catholic Church still vehemently opposes.
The Vatican leader's remarks, while a step forward, show the Roman Catholic Church continues to treat LGBTQ people unequally.
Some are calling the Pope's remarks a "major shift," and a "long overdue moment." Others have noted to Catholics in countries where same-sex relationships or marriages are banned it is a welcome sign.
Pope Francis continues to oppose marriage for same-sex couples. He has a lengthy record of vacillating between making compassionate statements about same-sex couples and gay people, while denouncing in the strongest possible terms affording them the same rights and responsibilities as those in different-sex marriages.
In 2014, for example, Pope Francis called same-sex marriage "anthropological regression."
One year later he said same-sex marriage threatened to "disfigure God's plan." He later called marriages of same-sex couples "disfigured." Also in 2015 he announced support for constitutional bans on marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
The following year Francis said the Catholic Church and Christians "must ask forgiveness" and "apologize" to gay people. In 2018 the Pope reportedly told a gay man, "God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say."