A new study has found results that confound the posturing of the Vatican and its politicized Republican supporters. Actual American Catholics are strikingly pro-gay:

Nearly three-­quarters of Catholics favor either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship. If marriage for gay couples is defined as a civil marriage “like you get at city hall,” Catholic support for allowing gay couples to marry increases by 28 points, from 43% to 71%.

Nearly three-­quarters (73%) of Catholics favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people against discrimination in the workplace; Nearly 7­?in­?10 (69%) Catholics disagree that homosexual orientation can be changed; less than 1-in-4 (23%) believe that it can be changed.

A majority of Catholics (56%) believe that sexual relations between two adults of the same gender is not a sin. Among the general population, less than half (46%) believe it is not a sin (PRRI, Religion & Politics Tracking Survey, October 2010).