Refusing to obey gay marriage laws is 'a human right' - pope

2015-09-28 17:23
Pope Francis aboard the papal plane. (AP)

Pope Francis aboard the papal plane. (AP)

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Aboard the papal plane - Government officials should not be forced to implement laws that run contrary to their religious beliefs, Pope Francis said on Monday, answering a question related to gay marriage.

"It is a human right. If government officials are human beings, they have that right, it is a human right," Francis told reporters on the flight back to Rome after his visit to Cuba and the United States.

The issue resonates in the US, where an elected clerk who refused to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples in the southern state of Kentucky was arrested earlier this month and spent six days in custody for contempt of court.

Kim Davis described herself as a devout Christian who could not abide the US Supreme Court ruling in July, which legalised gay marriage in all 50 US states. She has become a hero to conservatives who oppose that change.

The pope, known for his "who am I to judge" remark about homosexuals and his softer tone on family issues, avoided direct references to the case, but insisted that people's right to become "conscientious objectors" had to be guaranteed "by all judicial structures".

Read more on:    pope francis  |  vatican city

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