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Wednesday December 16, 2015
11:54 PM GMT+8

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Pope Francis delivers the Sunday Angelus prayer from a window of the apostolic palace overlooking St Peter’s square, December 6, 2015, at the Vatican. — AFP picPope Francis delivers the Sunday Angelus prayer from a window of the apostolic palace overlooking St Peter’s square, December 6, 2015, at the Vatican. — AFP picVATICAN 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

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