Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David on Mexico’s Leading Bishop Supporting Same-Sex Unions

by Aryn Fields

The Human Rights Campaign reacted to news today that Mexico’s highest-ranking bishop, Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, Archbishop of Mexico City, said he agrees with comments by Pope Francis in support of civil unions for same-sex couples. Mexico is the second largest Catholic country in the world with nearly 80 percent of its population affiliated with the Catholic church.

It is encouraging to see prominent Catholic leaders come forward in support of inclusion for same-sex couples and reaffirm Pope Francis’ belief that LGBTQ people are deserving of civil unions and belong within the religious family. These moments validate to LGBTQ Catholics that they are not outsiders in their own faith and that their continued advocacy for equity and inclusion is transforming the Church and the world. As Catholics in Mexico and around the world prepare to honor the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a symbol of hope, justice, and inclusion, we must continue to push the Catholic Church to not only endorse marriage equality but to advocate for the decriminalization of being LGBTQ and comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.”

While we acknowledge the importance of this moment, it does not change that the LGBTQ community has faced hostility and exclusion in communities of worship and have often had their rights targeted by faith leaders. It is our fervent hope that Cardinal Aguiar Retes’ reaffirmation of the dignity and rights of LGBTQ people encourages others within the Catholic Church, and all faith communities, to advocate for LGBTQ equality.”

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President
HRC previously reacted to news that Pope Francis embraced same-sex unions in October, stating, “By shifting Catholic theology in a more inclusive direction and making clear that LGBTQ people have a right to their own families, Pope Francis is letting LGBTQ Catholics know that being a person of faith and being LGBTQ are not mutually exclusive.”

The HRC Foundation’s Religion and Faith program works to establish common ground with prominent houses of worship and faith traditions across the country. In October, the Religion and Faith program hosted a webinar with LGBTQ Catholic leaders to discuss the importance of Pope Francis’ comments and the transformation within the church. Ensuring equity and justice for all people, while giving all individuals the space and freedom to be fully themselves, is a message inherent in all major religions and faith traditions and is the cornerstone of the LGBTQ movement. If LGBTQ people and people of faith can speak together, our voices and impact will carry that message that much farther.

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