"We are living in a time when a new consciousness is arising in which there is a growing recognition that for homosexual people their only 'sin' seems to be that they were born with a sexual orientation different from that of the majority. Yet we now know that orientation to be perfectly normal. It is like other minority positions within the human family: left-handedness, red hair. Minority positions, when not understood, tend to frighten people, and in their fear people strike out to protect themselves by rejecting and sometimes killing the different ones. That is understandable; we know why it happens. But it is evil nonetheless, and when it is validated with appeals to God and 'God's Word,' its evil reaches demonic levels. That is where this debate now lies inside the religious institutions of the Western world. The entrenched fear is that if something the Bible calls an abomination becomes acceptable, then that which makes religious people different will disappear and the defining 'Word of God' in the Bible will collapse, leaving believers unsure about who they are. The battle rages and ultimately the Bible quoters will lose. When they do, their religion will either change or it will die.
"Overwhelming scientific and medical knowledge exists today pointing to an inescapable conclusion. Sexual orientation is not a moral choice. It is something to which people awaken. It is therefore not morally culpable. The texts in Leviticus 18 and 20 are simply wrong. They are morally incompetent because they are based on ignorance. They should be viewed, as should so much else in Leviticus and the rest of the Torah, as stages in human development that we have outgrown, that we have been educated beyond and have therefore abandoned. To quote these texts to justify our prejudices and even our violence destroys the very essence of what Christians say they believe about God. The God who is love, the God who is heard through the words of Jesus promising life more abundantly, the description of the way others will recognize our desire to follow Jesus 'by our love,' all are violated if the texts of Leviticus 18 and 20 are given legitimacy. The time has come for all Christians to decide whether a person can follow Christ and still maintain his or her homophobic prejudices. I do not believe that is possible. Deep down all of us know this to be true. The decision is not both/and; it is either/or. We can either follow Christ or maintain our prejudices. There can be no compromise. The contending positions are mutually exclusive. There must be no wavering. Leviticus 18 and 20 cannot be allowed to remain in the lexicon of Christian behavior.
"It is also no longer a morally defensible argument for hierarchical figures to protect the destructive homophobia of some leaders and church members in order 'to preserve the unity of the church.' A church unified in prejudice cannot possibly be the Body of Christ. Can anyone imagine a church preserving its unity by tolerating slavery in its midst? Is there any difference between that situation and tolerating homophobia? Any prejudice based on who a person is, his or her very being as a child of God, cannot be a part of the church's life. Quoting Leviticus to justify our prejudices is no longer an option."