Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of
1.2 Roman Catholics, has endorsed civil unions for gay and lesbian
According to multiple outlets, Francis
made the comments in Francesco, a documentary on Pope Francis
that premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.
“Homosexuals have a right to be a
part of the family,” Pope Francis said. “They're children of God
and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made
miserable because of it.”
“What we have to create is a civil
union law. That way they are legally covered,” he added.
Francis is opposed to marriage
equality. He vehemently opposed the passage of an equal marriage bill
in his native Argentina. The law passed in 2010.
Maryland-based New Ways Ministry, a
group that represents LGBT Catholics, praised the pope's remarks.
“It will do so much good for the
lives of LGBT people because, you know, religion, and Catholicism in
particular, is often one of the biggest for fueling homophobia,”
Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, told the
DeBernardo added that he was surprised
by the pope's endorsement. “I would never have expected a pope to
make [such a statement] for a couple of generations at least,” he