Pope Francis indicates support for same-sex civil unions

The LGBTQ community reacts to Pope Francis' message of support for civil unions between same-sex couples

The pope's comments in a brief passage in the documentary film, "Francesco", are similar to the position he took while archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and echo remarks he has made in several interviews during his pontificate: "Marriage" is only between a man and a woman, but civil union laws could provide legal protection for couples in long-term, committed relationships. The film was shown for the first time in Rome on Wednesday.

Cruz, who is gay, said they have since repaired the relationship.

"Homosexual people have a right to be in a family".

"In Francesco, he says "[Gay people] are children of God and have a right to a family". "Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it", Francis is quoted as saying in a new documentary.

Even Pope Francis' stance on civil unions may not be enough to convince Filipino lawmakers to pass a bill to make same-sex union legal.

Francis's predecessor, Benedict XVI, was firmly against plans by then-premier Romano Prodi to recognize civil unions, including those of same-sex couples, in 2007.

"I definitely don't think its conventional for the catholic church to promote this kind of idea", VCU Student, Arnav Ashok said. "We know from our research that a third of lesbian, gay and bi people (32%) aren't open with anyone in their faith community about their sexual orientation".

"It is no overstatement to say that with this statement not only has the pope protected LGBTQ couples and families, but he also will save many LGBTQ lives", DeBernardo said.

In 2003, under Pope John Paul II, the Vatican said that "respect for homosexual persons can not lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions".

"I would never say that silence is the answer; to ignore a son or daughter with a homosexual tendency is not good parenthood." . On Wednesday, Afineevsky's 48th birthday, the director said Francis presented him with a birthday cake at the Vatican.

"The word I use is "welcome", Tobin told the New York Times after the visit.

"I told him that many of those encounters had certainly been filmed by the Vatican cameras, and that there he would find a veritable gold mine of stories that told a story", Ruffini said.

The Jesuit priest who has been at the forefront in seeking to build bridges with homosexuals in the Church, the Reverend James Martin, praised the Pope's comments as "a major step forward in the church's support for LGBT people".

The remarks come seven years after Francis famously asked "Who am I to judge?" about homosexuals, both in the Church and in society at large.

"One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety", Francis concluded, according to a translation by the Catholic News Agency. He has not publicly expressed support for civil unions until now.

"Since the beginning of the pontificate the Pope has spoken of respect for homosexuals and has been against their discrimination", Vatican expert Vania de Luca told RaiNews.



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