Pope Francis has expressed support for same-sex civil unions, marking the first-time the head of the Catholic Church has ever done so.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the Pope said during an interview for a new documentary “Francesco”, premiering at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.”
His comments come after his predecessors had outright spoken against legally recognising the right of members of the LGBTQI+ community to access civil unions.
The declaration was praised by Malta Gay Rights Movement, who called his statement “beautiful”.
“This beautiful statement by Pope Francis puts to shame those who are trying to use false interpretations of the Bible to influence Parliament in its efforts to recognise the diversity of our country and its people,” MGRM said.
The documentary is set to explore the Pope’s view on everything from gay rights to migration, poverty, the environment and income equality.
Pope Francis, from Argentina, had endorsed civil unions for same sex couples during his time as Buenos Aires’ archbishop. He has now continued with this belief in his role as Pope.
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Cover photo: Edgar Jiménez