Is the Pope stirring up hatred of homosexuals?

The Pope’s reported comments* about homosexuality being as much a threat to the world as climate change have drawn the expected condemnation (surely gays are helping reduce climate change by not having kids??).

But I think Fred Argy worries too much when he fears that these comments may ‘stir up hatred of homosexuals’.

Certainly, religious doctrines on homosexuality help explain why non-believers are more likely than believers to be unworried by gays and lesbians. But Catholics in particular have long had a pragmatic approach to the sexual teachings of their church, as seen in the very low birth rates of many Catholic countries (and no, this is not due to abstinence).

Clive Hamilton and Michael Flood pointed out some years ago, using Morgan polling research, that Catholics are less likely than members of other Christian religions to believe that homosexuality is immoral (only 34%). Consistent with this, the 2005 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes found that Catholics were more likely than other Christians to support gay civil unions (50% support).
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