The secretary general of the National Confederation of Brazilian Bishops has endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples, becoming the first national church leader to do so since Pope Francis suggested back in March that the Catholic Church might consider supporting such arrangements.
“There needs to be a dialog on the rights of shared life between people of the same sex who decide to live together. They need legal support from society,” Bishop Leonardo Steiner said.
Steiner made clear the church still opposes marriage for same-sex couples, which Brazil’s National Council of Justice made legal last year. “The difficulty is in deciding that marriages of people of the same sex are equivalent to marriage or family,” Steiner said, adding that he believes the measure should have been voted on by congress instead of being enacted by the judiciary.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of gay relationships, but certainly a step in the right direction.