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Pope's pronouncements are minor revolution

Pope Francis' statements on relationship legislation for same-sex couples are a minor revolution, COC Netherlands believes. The Pope would propose making registered partnership legal for same-sex couples, the Associated Press (AP) reports. According to AP, the church prince is making his statement in a documentary that will premiere on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

"Although the pope is not yet advocating the opening up of marriage, we can speak of a small revolution here," responded COC President Astrid Oosenbrug. "His statement is of great value to Roman Catholic lesbians, gays and bisexuals. At last the leader of the Catholic Church recognizes their right to a legally defined relationship."

According to Oosenbrug, the Pope's statement is also of great importance to LGBT people in countries such as Poland, where rulers discriminate and persecute people for their sexual orientation by invoking the Catholic faith: "Those governments can no longer hide behind words of the Pope."

According to AP in the documentary, the Pope states, "We need to ensure a registered partnership law. Then things will be legally sound. That's what I stand for." Francis makes the statement in filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky's documentary Francesco on his pontificate, which premieres in Rome on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

"Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. No one should be excluded or put in misery because of this," the Pope said in the documentary.

The LKP - the umbrella organization of the Christian LGBT movement - is pleased that the current Pope, as the first leader of the RCC, is speaking out so clearly in favor of the legal protection of gays, lesbians and bisexuals (LGBT) in society. The importance of this statement for LHBs in countries such as Poland and Hungary, where this group's rights are under pressure, cannot be overstated, according to the LKP. However, the LKP does point out that the Pope's statements are still far from a full place for LGBT people in the Roman Catholic Church. Marriage is not open to same-sex couples, and the formal position of the RCC is still that such relationships are "disordered.

CDA Pride, the CDA's LGBT network, calls it "pretty revolutionary" that Francis is the first pope to recognize the civil rights of every human being and equalize intrinsic dignity every human being.

Under Pope John Paul II, and under the leadership of the later Pope Benedict XVI - then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith still stated in 2003 that "respect for homosexual people should never in any way lead to approval of homosexual behavior or the legal recognition of homosexual relationships.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis is said to have previously advocated registered partnership for same-sex couples. Earlier during his pontificate, he spoke of countries opening up registered partnership to same-sex couples to better regulate rights. However, not before as Pope himself did he show such clear support for legal regulation.

[Source: COC NL - Photo Pope Francis: CC-Agencia Brazil].

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