Are we really minimizing the errors of the gay lifestyle, or are we merely pointing out that the situation in the Finnish Orthodox Church is nowhere near as bad as we internet yahoos would like to believe from the blog ramblings we've been reading here?
It's not just Internet yahoos. Many in Helsinki are troubled by these developments. And this is not "homophobia", which would be an irrational and spiteful attack on all those who suffer from passions and attempt to pull through with the power of Christ. This is concern over several administrators in key positions who want to have the church celebrate homosexual relationships. They are treading carefully, because other Orthodox churches would not be happy about this, but it's clear that they believe that within Helsinki they will make this an acceptable lifestyle choice. One already sees troubling signs of this, like homosexual couples showing up at liturgy, hand-holding or hugging throughout the service, and then going up for Communion (any requirement of confession or even membership of the parish is rarely enforced for Communion here).
Prior to coming to the Orthodox church, I attended Anglican and ECUSA churches. The local culture here in Finland is troublingly similar. No one wants to rock the boat, so for the sake of peace and unity everything is very watered down. Now, I don't like rabid "Orthodoxy or death" schismatic zealots who are all rage and no joy. But I just find Finland to be unusual among other Orthodox countries in this respect. In the course of a year, I move between Romania, Finland, and Russia, with short visits to Orthodox churches in other countries, and comparing Finland to other Orthodox bodies, I just don't feel the Finnish Orthodox Church will be able to pull through the crisis of homosexual marriage debates without some immediate drastic action.
As for Karelia being the "heartland" of Finnish Orthodoxy, that doesn't mean much. Helsinki is in many respects the centre of Orthodox life in Finland. Most of the Orthodox churches I've seen in Karelia have long since been boarded up.
As for the suggestion that it's not worth concentrating on homosexuality more than adultery, I disagree. If the decline of many mainline Protestant churches in the UK and the US has taught us anything, it's that homosexuality is a weathervane for other general crises of modernity. The same action which would reaffirm traditional Church teaching on homosexuality would cure other ills as well. Adultery just doesn't have that prominence.