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The Pope sides with Kim Davis, and says refusing gay marriage is a “human right”

AP/Susan Walsh
On the papal plane, bound for Italy, shortly before a final press conference on board.
By Svati Kirsten Narula
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Pope Francis has received both praise and criticism for his progressive record on issues like climate change and income inequality, but as Quartz’s Olivia Goldhill noted recently, the pontiff may not be quite as progressive as some of his fans might think.

During the pope’s flight back to Rome this morning (Sept. 28), Reuters asked him ”if he supported individuals, including government officials, who refuse to abide by some laws, such as issuing marriage licenses to gays.” The question was a direct reference to Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who briefly went jail after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The pope’s answer: ”I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection but, yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right,” he said. “And if someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right … Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying: ‘This right has merit, this one does not.'”

Same-sex marriage is legal everywhere in the US, following a decision by the Supreme Court.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

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