Mexico's highest-ranking Catholic
bishop has said that he agrees with recent comments by Pope Francis
in support of civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
Francis made the comments in Francesco,
a documentary on Pope Francis that premiered in October at the Rome
“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, however, remains opposed to
same-sex marriage. He vehemently opposed the passage of a marriage
equality bill in his native Argentina. The law passed in 2010.
Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes,
archbishop of Mexico City, told Reuters that he “completely”
agrees with the pope on the issue.
“All of us are children of God, all
are members of the family, and if we're fighting so that families are
united, regardless of their conduct, they don't stop being our
said. “And that's what Pope Francis said, everyone has the
right to family.”
Aguiar, who is opposed to abortion
rights and same-sex marriage, added that parents should not reject
their gay children.
“Because if, as it happens
unfortunately, a son in a family declares himself openly homosexual,
then they don’t want to have anything to do with him. And that
can’t be, it just can’t be,” he said.
“If they decide as a matter of free
choice to be with another person, to be in a union, that’s
freedom,” he added.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded Aguiar's comments.
“It is our fervent hope that Cardinal
Aguiar Retes’ reaffirmation of the dignity and rights of LGBTQ
people encourages others within the Catholic Church, and all faith
communities, to advocate for LGBTQ equality,” HRC President
Alphonso David said in a statement.
Mexico City in 2009 became the first
Latin American municipality to legalize marriage equality.