Even the Pope Backs Civil Union Laws for Same-Sex Couples. Your Move, India


Even the Pope Backs Civil Union Laws for Same-Sex Couples. Your Move, India

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

We’ve said this before, we are saying it again. Pope Francis is the coolest pope ever. The Pope who has been repeatedly voiced his support for people of all sexual orientations, has now endorsed same-sex civil unions. In a documentary that premiered at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday, Pope Francis said, “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family.” “They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered,” he added, making him the first pontiff to give his support to same-sex civil unions.

The film Francesco, about the life and work of Pope Francis, shows him encouraging two homosexual men to attend Church with their children. The Pope also said that he always stood up for legal rights for homosexual couples referring to the time when he was the  Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He opposed legalisation of same-sex marriages but believed same-sex couples should enjoy some sort of legal rights for their protection.

Austen Ivereigh, the Pope’s biographer, told BBC that he was not surprised by the remarks “He was always opposed to marriage being for same-sex couples. But he believed the church should advocate for a civil union law for gay couples to give them legal protection,” Ivereigh was quoted as saying by the BBC.

The Catholic Church refers to gay relationships as “deviant” and this makes the Pope’s stand even more significant. The New York Times said that the remarks “had the he potential to shift debates about the legal status of same-sex couples in nations around the globe”. 

The Pope’s support for same-sex union is being hailed by people the world over.

Many are calling it the “strongest statement of acceptance of LGBTQ people” by the Church.

However, many believe that very little has changed as far as the Church’s stand on same-sex marriage goes. “It ends up being an obstacle to reaching equality. “It’s a strategy to prevent marriage,” María Rachid, a politician and LGBTQ rights advocate in Argentina who played a leading role in the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage in the country in 2010, told Washington Post.

The Pope might have not spelt it out and said yes to gay marriage but his direct support to legalise same-sex relationships should be recognised for what it is. It is indeed historic.