Pope mobile on civil unions

Christ Church in Claremont as the sun sets. Photo: Maxwell Goldie

In a recently released documentary, Pope Francis has stated homosexuals should be protected by civil union laws, and should have the right to a family.

“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” he says in the documentary Francesco.

Adjunct law researcher at UWA Liam Elphick says civil union is a legal form of recognition for a relationship that gives rise to certain rights, including property and rights over someone’s health.  

“So there’s certain legal rights that attach to any relationship, but in a way that doesn’t give the moral name of marriage to that, so it’s something lesser than marriage but akin to it,” Mr Elphick says.

Liam Elphick discussing civil unions vs marriage. Audio: Maxwell Goldie, Photo: Supplied.

Mr Elphick says the exact nature of civil unions varies from state to state in Australia.

“Each state in Australia also has different views and laws on relationships, as the federal government doesn’t have the power to decide that, and so in Victoria, they are called ‘registered relationships’ and is defined by two or more years in an intimate relationship,” he says.

Curtin ally assistant and member of the LGBTIQ+ department Hayley Caratti says it’s a step forward, after so many years of fighting.

“I think, and a lot of people would agree, that it’s a basic human right no matter who you’re attracted to,” she says.

Hayley Caratti discusses same sex marriage. Audio: Maxwell Goldie, Photo: Maxwell Goldie

“Even with gathering acceptance of queer community in religious circles, still a stigma from queer community about people involved in the religious activity.

“Religions that accept queer lifestyle should be doing all they can to accommodate and be equal/accepting/welcoming to that community,” Ms Caratti says.