PHOTOS | Pope Francis becomes first pope to endorse same-sex unions

Pope Francis has said that same-sex couples should be protected by civil union laws in the clearest language he has used on the rights of gay people, prompting praise from liberals and calls for urgent clarification from conservatives. He made his comments in a new documentary "Francesco" by Oscar-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky that was released on Wednesday.

Updated On Oct 22, 2020 06:13 PM IST
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FILE -- In this Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 file photo, models hold hands on the catwalk during a wedding fashion show with same-sex couples, dubbed "The rainbow wedding fashion show", part of a 'wedding fair' taking place in Rome. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday, Oct. 21 2020 at the Rome Film Festival. (AP)
Updated on Oct 22, 2020 06:13 PM IST

FILE -- In this Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 file photo, models hold hands on the catwalk during a wedding fashion show with same-sex couples, dubbed "The rainbow wedding fashion show", part of a 'wedding fair' taking place in Rome. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday, Oct. 21 2020 at the Rome Film Festival. (AP)

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Pope Francis waves at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival. (AP)
Updated on Oct 22, 2020 06:13 PM IST

Pope Francis waves at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival. (AP)

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Models on the catwalk during a wedding fashion show with same-sex couples, dubbed "The rainbow wedding fashion show", part of a 'wedding fair' taking place in Rome, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. (AP)
Updated on Oct 22, 2020 06:13 PM IST

Models on the catwalk during a wedding fashion show with same-sex couples, dubbed "The rainbow wedding fashion show", part of a 'wedding fair' taking place in Rome, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. (AP)

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FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo, Angelo Albanesi, left, and Pier Giorgio De Simone wait for their civil union to be registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome's Campidoglio Capitol Hill. Francis’ outreach to gays dates to his first foreign trip in 2013, when he uttered the now-famous words “Who am I to judge,” when asked during an airborne news conference returning home from Rio de Janiero about a purportedly gay priest. (AP)
Updated on Oct 22, 2020 06:13 PM IST

FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo, Angelo Albanesi, left, and Pier Giorgio De Simone wait for their civil union to be registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome's Campidoglio Capitol Hill. Francis’ outreach to gays dates to his first foreign trip in 2013, when he uttered the now-famous words “Who am I to judge,” when asked during an airborne news conference returning home from Rio de Janiero about a purportedly gay priest. (AP)

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FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo, Mauro Cioffari, left, puts a wedding ring on his partner Davide Conti's finger as their civil union is being registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome's Campidoglio Capitol Hill. In the film, Pope Francis said, “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.” (AP)
Updated on Oct 22, 2020 06:13 PM IST

FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo, Mauro Cioffari, left, puts a wedding ring on his partner Davide Conti's finger as their civil union is being registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome's Campidoglio Capitol Hill. In the film, Pope Francis said, “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.” (AP)

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FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo Leonardo Pace, left, hugs Fabio Motti as their civil union is being registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome's Campidoglio Capitol Hill. While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages. However, he had never come out publicly in favor of civil unions as pope. (AP)
Updated on Oct 22, 2020 06:13 PM IST

FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo Leonardo Pace, left, hugs Fabio Motti as their civil union is being registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome's Campidoglio Capitol Hill. While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages. However, he had never come out publicly in favor of civil unions as pope. (AP)

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FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo, Mauro Cioffari, left, kisses Davide Conti as their civil union is being registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome's Campidoglio Capitol Hill. Pope Francis, the Jesuit priest who has been at the forefront in seeking to build bridges with gays in the church, the Rev. James Martin, praised the pope’s comments as “a major step forward in the church’s support for LGBT people.” (AP)
Updated on Oct 22, 2020 06:13 PM IST

FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo, Mauro Cioffari, left, kisses Davide Conti as their civil union is being registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome's Campidoglio Capitol Hill. Pope Francis, the Jesuit priest who has been at the forefront in seeking to build bridges with gays in the church, the Rev. James Martin, praised the pope’s comments as “a major step forward in the church’s support for LGBT people.” (AP)

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