VATICAN CITY, Dec 16 — Pope Francis today urged Slovenian politicians to stand up for family values, four days before the country votes in a referendum on gay marriage.
Without explicitly mentioning the vote, Francis told a group of Slovenian pilgrims that he encouraged “everyone, especially those with public responsibility, to support the family, a structural reference point for the life of society.”
Slovenians go to the polls on Sunday to decide whether to implement or scrap a law allowing gay marriage which was adopted by parliament in the largely Catholic country in March.
The referendum follows a challenge by conservatives who gathered 40,000 signatures in a month for a petition for the issue to be put to a popular vote.
The law will be scrapped if 20 per cent of the electorate vote in the referendum and a majority oppose it.
Although Pope Francis is credited with pushing the Church towards a more welcoming approach to homosexuals, he has always been unequivocal in his opposition to same-sex marriage. — AFP