Pope Francis has endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples for the first time, in a possible watershed moment for the Catholic Church.
The pontiff, 83, made the remarks in a new documentary following his life and work, Francisco, which premiered at the Rome Film festival on Wednesday (21 October), America Magazine reports.
"Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family,” Pope Francis says in the film, directed by Evgeny Afineevsky.
"They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable because of it."
He adds: "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that."
Pope Francis, who was elected to the head of the Catholic Church in 2013, has adopted a (comparatively) more inclusive stance towards LGBTQ people than his predecessors, going so far as to say in 2016 that the Church should "apologise" to gay people.
However, he still ranks as one of the most powerful opponents of LGBTQ equality in the world, remaining a staunch a staunch opponent of marriage equality and implying in 2018 that LGBTQ youth should seek psychitric help.
With more than a billion Catholics worldwide listening closely to his latest remarks though, don't underestimate their power...