Pope speculates on gay civil unions for Catholic Church
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis has suggested civil unions may be the way forward for Catholic LGBTI people.
Whilst reiterating the Church’s mandate that marriage was between a man and a woman, Pope Francis commented civil unions needed to be evaluated on a case by case basis.
‘Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care,’’ said Pope Francis.
‘‘It is about pacts of cohabiting of various natures, of which I wouldn’t know how to list the different ways.
‘‘One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety."
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said "While we welcome Pope Francis's softening of the Vatican's hardline, we do not accept civil unions as a substitute for marriage equality."
Croome said almost every country that had tried civil unions had found them wanting and moved towards full marriage equality instead.
"Civil unions are a failed experiment that only allow same-sex couples access to legal recognition if we are willing to sit at the back of the proverbial bus."