Civil union laws should cover homosexuals: Pope

Pope Francis has said that homosexuals should be protected by civil union laws, in some of the clearest language he's used on gay rights.

His comments came in a new film released on Wednesday (October 21).

He says, quote, "Homosexual people have a right to be in a family"

He went on: "They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that."

By "stood up," he seems to be referring to his former role as archbishop of Buenos Aires, where he opposed legislation to approve same sex marriages but did support legal protections for gay couples.

Evgeny Afineevsky is the director.

"I think he is the one who basically is giving understand that we are the monsters and we are creating really horrible things for ourselves. But in the same time, he allows us to understand that even doing a mistake we can admit this mistake, and change our course."

The film, called "Francesco," premiered at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.

It places the pope at the heart of a narrative that casts a wide net over some of the world's most pressing problems.

The film tackles issues such as the growing gap between the rich and the poor, racism, climate change, sexual abuse, migration, human trafficking, and relations between Christians, Muslims and Jews.