Pope backs LGBT civil unions - 2nd November 2020

Head of the Catholic church, Pope Francis, has come out in support of same-sex civil unions, marking a shift away from the church's historically conservative viewpoint. This will anger some conservative members of the church.

He revealed his belief in an interview for the documentary film 'Francesco', which received its premiere at the Rome film festival.

He said, “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

The feature-length film centres around the life and teachings of the pontiff and covers Francis' papacy over the past 7 and a half years. It deals with issues close to the pope's heart, such as the environment, poverty, migration and inequality.

Since being selected as the pope in March 2013, Francis has shown a more inclusive tone towards LGBT people in his public statements but has never publicly endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples until now.

In addition to his comments on civil unions, Francis can be seen in the film encouraging a male couple to attend church services with their children.

The film’s director, Evgeny Afineevsky, said he hoped the film would be released for home streaming. “If before he was able to travel to every periphery in the world, right now, only his words can travel. That’s why for me releasing the movie right now was so important – so that his words and his actions can travel around the world.”

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