Pope endorses same-sex civil union for the first time as pontiff

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis endorsed gay civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for a feature-length documentary that made its premiere at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.

The papal thumbs up came mid-way through "Francesco," which delves into the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality and other issues Francis cares about most.

In the documentary, the pope says: "Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God., and adds, "What we have to have is a civil union law, that way they are legally covered."

While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages.

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