GLAAD Statement on Pope Francis' Support for Including Transgender People in the Church

(New York, NY, November 8, 2023) -- Today in response to dubia (request for clarity) signed by Pope Francis, the Vatican has indicated that transgender people can be baptized and act as godparents or witnesses to a wedding in the Roman Catholic Church.

Sarah Kate Ellis (she/her), President and CEO of GLAAD, the world's leading LGBTQ media advocacy organization, released the following statement:

"Pope Francis' latest LGBTQ affirmation sends an unequivocal message to political and cultural leaders around the world to end their persecution and exclusion of transgender people. Pope Francis is continuing to break down barriers that have kept LGBTQ Catholics away from full participation as members of the Roman Catholic Church and is instead calling on global leaders to create welcoming spaces for LGBTQ people."

Today's news marks the latest development in a number of positive actions by Pope Francis and the Vatican for LGBTQ people. Pope Francis has consistently and continually urged church leaders and parishioners to accept and affirm LGBTQ people. Just last month, the Pope issued guidance allowing blessings for same-sex unions. In January, the Pope said, "Homosexuality is not a crime," calling laws in nearly 70 countries that criminalize same-sex relationships "unjust" and that treating other people uncharitably is a sin. In August he told thousands of participants at the World Youth Day that the Church should be open to all, leading the crowd in a chant of "Todos! Todos! Todos!" Last year, he urged parents of LGBTQ people to "accompany their children and not hide in an attitude of condemnation."

About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

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