ROANOKE, Va. – Recently, Pope Francis became the first pope to voice his support for civil unions for same-sex couples.
Bernard Alvarez of the Roanoke Diversity Center said most of the pushback the LGBTQ community faces comes from churches and causes people to question their identity.
Therefore “it’s a sigh of relief” to hear the pope publicly endorse, Alvarez said.
He said this is a moment for the younger generation to feel accepted.
As someone who knows the pressure all too well, Alvarez was once just moments away from taking his own life.
“After my first experience with a same-sex person, I was torn apart, depressed after that because I just felt that I had broken my covenant with God and my community," Alvarez said. "And I did not know how to deal with it.”
Alvarez said he would like to see Pope Francis follow up with a more detailed policy to see if local dioceses will be able to perform same-sex marriages.