Pope Francis speaks during an inter-religious prayer service for peace along with other religious representatives in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, a church on top of Rome’s Capitoline Hill, on Oct. 20. Pope Francis says same-sex unions need to be legally protected.

ROME — Pope Francis broke new ground in the Roman Catholic Church acceptance of same-sex civil unions by endorsing some relationships between gay people during an interview for a documentary that premiered this week.

Francis, who has long taken a more socially progressive view than his predecessors, said gay people should not be deprived of family life because of their sexuality.

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