Pope supports registered partnership for same-sex couples, Romani community member in the Czech Republic calls it progress
For the first time in his role as the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has publicly supported laws that make it possible for same-sex couples to enter into a registered partnership. He made the statement in the documentary biopic "Francesco" by Evgeny Afineevsky, which was screened at a film festival in Rome on 23 October.
No head of the Catholic Church has ever before made a statement in favor of civil union for same-sex couples. The Vatican did not immediately comment on the Pope's statement in the film after it was screened.
David Tišer, a Romani LGBT activist in the Czech Republic who is the director of the ARA ART organization, called the Pope's remarks a positive step forward. The words the Pope used were as follows: "Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They are children of God and they have the right to a family. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered."
The Reuters wire service has reported that in 2010, when the current Pope was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he publicly rejected a law there that would have expanded marriage to include same-sex couples. Instead, he supported a different solution for providing same-sex couples with legal protection.
In the documentary, the Pope is also filmed making a phone call to a same-sex couple who have adopted three children. He exhorts the couple to involve their children in the life of their parish even if other believers express aversion toward them.
"I perceive this to be a positive step toward change. This is the first time the head of the Catholic Church has openly supported laws facilitating same-sex couples entering into registered partnership. In the Czech Republic we have had registered partnership since 2006. Currently we are striving for same-sex marriage. The 'We Are Fair' (Jsme fér) initiative promoting that idea has already been signed by more than 70 000 people," Tišer told news server Romea.cz.
The Vatican itself, as a state, does not have a law on registered partnership. The Italian Parliament adopted a law facilitating civil unions for same-sex couples in 2016.
Some Catholics in Italy demonstrated against that law at the time. Unlike in previous years, however, those protests were not officially given auspices by the Italian Episcopal Conference.
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