It’s Pride Month: How LGBTQ+ rights changed around the world this past year

When Pope Francis became the head of the Catholic Church in 2013, he soon indicated his willingness to accept gay believers, famously saying: “Who am I to judge?” That sentiment has largely continued throughout his papacy. Late last year, the Vatican released guidance stating that transgender people can be baptized and serve as godparents, and later gave permission for Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples.

However, the church remains opposed to same-sex marriage and still teaches that homosexuality is “intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law.” Even within the church, opposition to the pope’s relatively more open stance on these issues remains.

The pope also made headlines this week after using a homophobic slur to refer to gay men during a closed-door meeting with bishops. The Vatican issued a rare apology after the incident made headlines.

Casey Parks Kelsey Ables, Robyn Dixon, Natalia Abbakumova, Anthony Faiola and Stefano Pitrelli contributed to this report.

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