The Pope's announcement was welcomed by Amnesty International and many within the church.
Pope Francis has declared his support for the civil union of same-sex couples, sending shockwaves of joy and contempt across the world alike.
According to CNN, speaking in a new documentary film called Francesco, the Pope stated, "Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They're children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it." He continued, "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered."
BREAKING: Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions for the first time as pontiff https://t.co/qfgcCIPql2— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 21, 2020
This announcement is significant because, historically, popes have never endorsed the civil union of same-sex couples. The current Pope's view on civil unions is also very different from that of his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
He suggested he has not been against civil unions in many interviews in the past. When the Pope served as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he advocated for same-sex civil unions in Argentina. At the time, he suggested civil unions as an alternative to the legalization of same-sex marriages in the country.
Pope Francis endorsed gay civil unions for the first time as pontiff while being interviewed for a feature-length documentary that has premiered at the Rome Film Festival. https://t.co/tsjomxP4Nr— CTV Saskatoon (@ctvsaskatoon) October 21, 2020
Many appreciated and welcomed the Pope's recent endorsement. "The Pope's speaking positively about civil unions also sends a strong message to places where the church has opposed such laws," said Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. He referred to the announcement as "a major step forward in the church's support for LGBT people," according to CBS News.
Martin added, "He's creating a new space for LGBT people... He's saying it on the record and he's being very clear. It's not simply that he's tolerating it — he's supporting it," according to CNN.
Pope Francis, the Head of the Catholic Church, endorses Same-Sex Civil Unions. ❤— BENDELAPLUM (@BenDelaPlum) October 21, 2020
There is Hope. LOVE WILL ALWAYS WIN🌈
Photo not mine. pic.twitter.com/v5iONdXOiq
Organizations such as Amnesty International welcomed the news with open hands. Many took to Twitter and said, "There is hope."
Pope Francis has become the first Pope to endorse same-sex civil unions.— Amnesty International (@amnesty) October 22, 2020
Love is love. 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/ACugISadh8
The documentary film, directed by Russian filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky, also delves into other issues the Pope cares about dearly, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality, and the people most affected by discrimination.
The film is set to be premiered at the Rome Film Festival on October 29, 2020. It will be featured in the United States of America during the SCAD Savannah Film Festival on October 25, 2020.