MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee residents are giving their two cents following Pope Francis' decision to endorse gay civil unions for the first time.
Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee released a statement Wednesday, writing that “Recently, the Holy Father brought up the issue of civil unions for those with same-sex attraction."
"In doing so, Pope Francis rightly differentiates between Catholic marriage and other relationships recognized by civil or state authorities. The Church clearly teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that it is life-long and life-giving," the archbishop wrote.
Pope Francis made the announcement during an interview 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.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God," Pope Francis said. “What we have to have is a civil union law, that way they are legally covered.”
TMJ4 News spoke with students at Marquette University who agreed with the decision to speak out.
“I think it’s great that the pope finally spoke out on it. I think Same-Sex marriage should’ve been allowed in the Catholic Church for a long time," said student Ian Bjork.
“I agree with what the pope said. I think God preaches love and acceptance of other people," said student Erin Farley.
Natalie Zanoni, the Associate Executive Director of MKE LGBT, said the news is good for everyone, especially faith-based members of the community she serves.
“There are a lot of LGBT people who are raised in the church that faces a very part of who they are," Zanoni said.
While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages.