Interesting. When Argentina was considering legalizing gay marriage in 2010, the new Pope was a Cardinal, and he advocated for civil unions as an alternative. The New York Times reports:
But behind the scenes, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who led the public charge against the measure, spoke out in a heated meeting of bishops in 2010 and advocated a highly unorthodox solution: that the church in Argentina support the idea of civil unions for gay couples. The concession inflamed the gathering — and offers a telling insight into the leadership style he may now bring to the papacy. Few would suggest that Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is anything but a stalwart who fully embraces the church’s positions on core social issues. But as he faced one of the most acute tests of his tenure as head of Argentina’s church, he showed another side as well, supporters and critics say: that of a deal maker willing to compromise and court opposing sides in the debate, detractors included.
Yeah, he still viewed civil unions as “lesser of two evils”, but it is interesting that he is willing to compromise when the rubber hits the road.