Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil union laws in the upcoming “Francesco” documentary. He clearly states that same-sex unions should be “legally covered.” In the documentary, he says, “what we have to create is a civil union law.” Previously, the Catholic Argentinian clergy member didn’t make concrete statements about his opinion on gay marriage. The pope has been known to encourage compassion and understanding but hadn’t ever supported an LGBTQ+ civil union policy.
“They’re children of God and have a right to a family,” he says. “Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable because of it.” This is gigantic news and a step forward for LGBTQ+ members of the church who have long been shunned by their community for their sexual orientation. There have been some strides in recent years as some Catholic priests do bless same-sex marriages.
Yet, the official church teaching on the Vatican’s website still states that homosexual acts are “as acts of grave depravity” and that homosexuality can be approved under no circumstances. To truly be progressive, Francis must speak out against the violent notion that the church teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” Even better, he could attempt to alter the church doctrine to be more inclusive of all sexualities.
Francis became a pope in 2013 and is the first person from Latin America to hold the title. In his home country, Argentina, he negotiated with the Argentine government over the legalization of gay marriage and said he’d be open to civil unions.
Uruguay was the first country in South America to pass a national civil union law in 2008 and legalized gay marriage in 2013. Argentina was the first to legalize gay marriage in 2010 followed by Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, and Puerto Rico. Same-sex civil unions, but not yet marriages, are legal in Chile. Same-sex marriages and civil unions are legal in some jurisdictions in Mexico, Brazil.