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US Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions. What does this mean for LGBTQ rights in the US?

07:10  22 october  2020
07:10  22 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Pope Francis spoke out in favor of same - sex civil unions , saying that homosexuals were "children of God and have a right to a family." In the film, the pontiff urged a " civil union law" that would allow LGBT+ people to "be in a family." "They are children of God and have a right to a family," he said in

Pope Francis has said that he thinks same - sex couples should be allowed to have " civil unions ". "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered." He added that he Then in 2018, Pope Francis said he was "worried" about homosexuality in the clergy, and that it was

Pope Francis' stunning endorsement of same-sex civil unions is not wholly unexpected, though for many LGBTQ advocates, it is a welcome message.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis said in an interview for the documentary "Francesco." “What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

Catholics, as a whole, generally are among one of the more accepting sects of Christianity when it comes to same-sex unions. A Pew survey found that more than half of Catholics in the United States, along with Mainline Protestants and Orthodox Christians, support same-sex marriage.

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Pope Francis (pictured earlier today) has endorsed same - sex civil unions for the first time since taking the papal role. LGBTQ Catholics and advocates have applauded Pope Francis ' message, in the Share or comment on this article: Pope Francis endorses same - sex civil unions , saying

Pope Francis has declared his support for civil unions between same - sex couples. “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family,” said Francis in the documentary Francesco that premiered “Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfill the purpose for which marriage

Pope Francis sitting on a table: Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary 'Francesco.' © Provided by USA TODAY Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary 'Francesco.'

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It's a trend mirrored globally: Within the past five years, along with the United States, Ireland, Colombia, Malta and Austria — all of which are primarily Catholic countries — legalized same-sex marriage.

Related: 29 countries where same-sex marriage is officially legal

LGBTQ Catholics and advocates have applauded Pope Francis' message. Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, an LGBTQ-centered Catholic ministry, told USA TODAY: "This is the strongest statement of acceptance of LGBTQ people that a church official has made."

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Pope Francis has backed same - sex civil unions in a move that is likely to further enrage his conservative opponents in the Catholic church. As pope , Francis has never previously publicly backed civil unions for same - sex couples, although as he endorsed such legal arrangements when

THE Pope today endorsed same - sex civil unions in a historic shift for the Roman Catholic church. He said homosexual people are "children of God and have a right to be Speaking in the film Francesco by Oscar-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky he said: "What we have to create is a civil union law.

"In the church, change happens step by step, and as Catholics around the world become more used to supporting lesbian and gay couples, they and their leaders will soon see that it makes no sense not to recognize and bless these relationships in church."

But he also acknowledges that the Pope could go farther in his support — and, in doing so, could have far-reaching implications beyond the Church.

What does this mean for the Catholic view on LGBT people?

For LGBTQ advocates, Pope Francis' message was not just an endorsement of same-sex civil unions — a stance that he has, indeed, tacitly taken before. It's also approval of same-sex parents having the privilege of raising families.

Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that the Pope is "making clear that LGBTQ people have a right to their own families."

Notably, DeBernardo points out, the Pope used the word "family" in his statement — a broader sentiment than just permitting same-sex civil unions and relationships

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Pope Francis said he supports the civil union law of same - sex couples in a new documentary that debuted in Rome on Wednesday. The documentary "Francesco," which will premiere in the US on Sunday, reflects on Pope Francis ' life and ministry and role on social issues including LGBTQ rights

Pope Francis has publicly endorsed same - sex civil unions for the first time. Pope Francis prays with priests at the end of a limited public audience at the San Damaso courtyard in The Vatican. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of

"In using the word 'family,' the pope knows he is talking about more than just a couple," said DeBernardo, "otherwise he would have just said 'couple.'"

That said, while the Pope supports civil union laws for LGBTQ couples, it is not necessarily an endorsement of same-sex marriage and the rights that come with marriage.

What is the difference between a civil union and a marriage?

In the United States, the key difference between civil unions and marriages is that civil unions are mostly limited to state-level protections.

Prior to Obergefell v. Hodges, which in 2015, guaranteed same-sex marriage nationwide, states that did offer same-sex civil unions — such as Vermont, which was the first state to approve same-sex civil unions in 2000 — generally offered similar legal protections as marriages.

But their legal rights were significantly restricted at the federal level due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which ran from 1996 to 2013 when parts of it were declared unconstitutional. For instance, same-sex couples in civil unions were not always able to access the same Social Security or disability benefits as married couple. Legal rights did not always carry over across state lines, either, until the dissolution of DOMA.

Pope Francis says he supports gay civil unions. For many, it's 'exhilarating' but changes little.

  Pope Francis says he supports gay civil unions. For many, it's 'exhilarating' but changes little. Pope Francis inspired many in his support for same-sex unions. But it changes nothing as gay marriage is still not recognized in the Catholic church.But the pope's stance doesn't really change anything, manyCatholics said, noting Pope Francis never said he supported same-sex marriage.

Pope Francis has given the thumbs-up to same - sex civil unions for the first time as head of the Catholic Church. It came in a documentary called Francesco that had its debut screening at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday. The film looks into the issues that mean the most to Pope Francis

Pope Francis for the first time voiced support for civil unions for same - sex couples, in a documentary that premiered Wednesday. The remarks also come at a pivotal time for LGBTQ rights in the United States , where the Senate is soon expected to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney

What has Pope Francis previously said about same-sex couples?

Francis has a complicated history with the LGBTQ community, specifically on the issue of same-sex marriage. While he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, he previously endorsed civil unions for gay couples in lieu of same-sex marriages. Months into his papacy, he was famously quoted as saying: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

However, Francis has repeatedly condemned same-sex marriage during his time as Pope — emphasizing the Catholic dictum of marriage remaining between a man and a woman in multiple statements.

He has supported anti-marriage equality laws in Slovenia and Slovakia, per New Ways. Last year, the Catholic Church issued a document essentially condemning transgender identities and non-heterosexual relationships.

What could this mean for LGBTQ legal rights in America?

The timing of his statement arrives at a critical juncture for LGBTQ rights in the United States.

Earlier this month, two Supreme Court Justices vehemently condemned same-sex marriage in a rebuke of Obergefell v. Hodges.

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Pope Francis Fast Facts

  Pope Francis Fast Facts View the Pope Francis Fast Facts from CNN and learn more about the current pope and first non-European pontiff of the modern era. © TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images Photo Credit: TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images PersonalBirth date: December 17, 1936 Birth place: Buenos Aires, ArgentinaBirth name: Jorge Mario BergoglioFather: Mario BergoglioMother: Regina (Sivori) BergoglioReligion: Roman CatholicOther FactsThe first Jesuit pope.The first Latin American pope and the first from the Americas.The first non-European pope in more than 1,000 years.

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"We cannot allow her to represent President Trump’s bigotry and bullying at the Supreme Court for decades to come," said GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis in a September statement.

Currently, DeBernardo points out, Fulton vs. City of Philadelphia is on the Supreme Court's docket and will be heard in November.

The case, focusing on a Catholic foster care agency that receives government funding and was required to serve a gay couple looking to foster a child, will decide whether agencies can discriminate on the basis of religion.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions. What does this mean for LGBTQ rights in the US?

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