I appreciate much of the breakdown here.
As there has been much important detail given to the biological side, I think there needs to be a lot more detail given to the choice side to be more properly informative. Too often “choice” is seen as a simple or trivial thing. Choice is a very complex thing.
For instance, a person who has been sexually touched, pleased and enjoyed since childhood by one or more close member(s) of the family or community and shown this as a demonstration of love, acceptance, and affection is going to naturally gravitate towards relationships later on where sexual intimacy is openly engaged in from the beginning - perhaps as a qualifying component, rather than something that comes later. (Some may find disgust in this idea, calling it child abuse flat out, but there are many children who’ve been groomed into this with what they experience as positive, healthy, and pleasurable interactions, thereby compelling them to continue choosing it. Not all “abusers” are “purely selfish” - many think they are liberating the other person, perhaps as they were. This is a natural expression of their relationship development process.) When this person comes into the church, he/she feels as unaccepted, rejected, out of place, etc as any LGBTQ+ person does for these naturally sexually inviting behaviors that would evoke strong objection from the average church member or leader. But why is he/she choosing it? Because there was a positive association made at an early and impressionable age, and elements of reinforcement along the way. There may also have been many instances of rejection or adverse experiences associated to this, but if the positive ones are more highly embraced or valued, they drive the choices and behaviors. When will we talk in more depth about nurture, impression, and factors that lead to what we summarize as “choice” so that people understand that choice is not trivial? That changing one’s “choice” doesn’t happen as simply as saying “I liked what I learned about Jesus, therefor I will choose to follow Jesus.” It doesn’t happen by force, coercion, demand, or expectation and it doesn’t happen by simply mustering up will power to choose. All humans are groomed into the choices we make from the time of conception.
The author goes on to state:
" Someone who is gay is attracted to someone of their own sex by nature , not by choice. Thus, the desire to develop an intimate, committed relationship with someone of the same sex is natural for someone who is gay. Same-sex marriage would therefore be a natural and acceptable accommodation of this biological reality. Just as for heterosexuals, sexual relations outside of marriage violate God’s law, but within a monogamous marriage relationship, sexual relations are a normal outgrowth of a healthy, intimate relationship. It is time for the church to recognize that same-sex marriage, rather than violating God’s law, can play the same role as marriage does for heterosexuals, providing life-long companionship and a context in which to remain sexually pure."
I have a sibling who is openly bisexual, polyamorous, and lives in a committed polyamorous family. Many men in the bible had multiple wives and God did not condemn them for it. Her and her husband have invited other women into their marriage and home and are raising children together in this committed, life long multi-person marriage. She is/they are seeking to invite another man into the committed life long intimate family relationship setting as well. The sexual intimacy is a natural extension of their love and commitment to each other and service to each other.
Is there room to interpret the bible teachings such that they can also feel the warm embrace and beneficial teachings and path of the Church and perhaps some day have a leadership position as well? This is a hard question. I do not expect an easy answer.
I have a strong LGBTQ+ community. I have personally struggled with my own sexual identity and whether or not I fit in the church. There are few places I feel I can safely discuss these matters in the SDA community I have chosen to embrace. Sabbath is a blessing and a truth I have come to embrace. I believe Jesus will come again and I want to spend eternity in heaven. I want my family there too. Is there room for them as they are?
I’ve followed Spectrum long enough to consider that perhaps this is a place these hard questions can be discussed sincerely and without having to share my identity and complicate my relationships with both progressives and conservatives.