HRC Expresses Disappointment in Pope Francis’ Assertion That Children Must Have Opposite-Sex Parent

by HRC Staff

Statement to more than 25,000 faithful in Rome on Sunday comes on heels of the city’s well-attended LGBT pride festival, and support of same-sex civil unions by Italy’s Lower House of Parliament

Washington - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, strongly urged Pope Francis to reconsider assertions he made Sunday in Rome that good parenting can only be provided by opposite-sex couples.

In response, Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, director of Latino/a and Catholic Initiatives for the foundation’s Religion and Faith Program, released the following statement:

“At a time when so many children across our world lack loving, welcoming homes, it is heartbreaking to hear Pope Francis dismiss a whole swath of potential LGBT parents who continue to prove that they are fully capable of providing safe and nurturing environments, just like many of their non-LGBT counterparts.

“We ask that Pope Francis, is making headlines now  as pro-science, follow the lead of scientists where LGBT families are concerned. Take the words of the American Psychological Association, for example, which has concluded that ‘parenting practices around the world share three major goals: ensuring children’s health and safety, preparing children for life as productive adults and transmitting cultural values. A high-quality parent-child relationship is critical for healthy development.’

“LGBT families -- including LGBT Catholic families -- affirm these goals and practice them everyday, advancing our belief that inclusion and acceptance are core values of our faith.

“We call on the Pope and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church to reconsider their harmful statements and renounce the message of exclusion that only serves to hurt all families.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Contact Us

To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email