orthonorm, you just still don't get it... No, homosexuality is not natural. Neither is death...
You cannot say that sinfulness is something that is "natural", it's simply not. It's a corruption.
You assume that I'm just some hatemonger that hates homosexuals and is trying to ostracize every single one of them so I can protect the Church. Well, guess what? One of my best friends is a homosexual, and I have several other friends who are also homosexuals. You could ask them, and they would all tell you that I've never, EVER said anything hateful, or harmful against them. My homosexual friends don't push themselves on me, and they know I disagree with their lifestyle, but they don't try to change my mind, and they aren't so out there that they are in everyone's face about it.
Someone who has been born homosexual has not received that state from God. Nor has it been a "curse" from God, or anyone else. It is a result of our fallen state. It is no different than being born with a a predisposition to alcohol or drug addiction. The person who has been "born" homosexual, is, like the rest of us, living in an unnatural state, they are broken. Does that mean they should just give up and accept they are a homosexual? No, certainly not. What it means is that they can come into the Church, and struggle to live chaste lives without a homosexual partner, and therefore struggle towards salvation.
However, what do many homosexuals in the United States do? They are pushing their "agenda" on us and our families. They want to convince everyone that their state is natural and completely okay and permissible. Does this mean that I think they ought to be forced out of their relationships? No, certainly not. They are outside of the Church, and it is their own business how they live. But if you want to be within the Church, you have to submit to Christ, and you have to be willing to be completely open with your Priest during confession, and you have to be willing to change, and to take the medicine prescribed to you by Christ himself (and distributed by the "Pharmacist", the Priest).
What I care about, is when I have kids, and if they will be taught in school that homosexuality is permissible and normal. This isn't an unfounded fear either. It's already occurring in many universities (including my own). It is also happened already in other nations, specifically some in Western Europe.
As Orthodox, there is absolutely no separation between our private lives, church, and our public life. There cannot be. What we do and believe in terms of politics has to be influenced by our faith as much as our private lives are. This is unquestionable and is absolutely necessary. You can't pray for the end of abortion, and then vote for it at the booth.
Again, I'm not saying we need to ostracize gays, absolutely far from it. If someone is homosexual, you and I should not know it. It is something that is to remain between them, their Priest, and God. It is something that they need to work out with fear and trembling, something they have to struggle with. But at the same time, there are some homosexuals who want to be "out" and who want to be in your face about it. That is absolutely impermissible, and is a sign of pride and unwillingness to change. (though I don't believe homosexuals can become heterosexual, unless they've changed by choice)
For example, I entered the Church, and I hope and pray that I'm completely open with my Priest during both confession, and during our other various private talks. He gives me the medicine to heal that God has prescribed, and I will hopefully use that to heal myself. Yet, if I start sinning, and not only that, I start promoting it to my parishioners, and try to convince them that my sin is okay, then I've got a serious problem, and I've absolutely magnified my sin even more.
Sin isn't just some law that you break and "anger God". Sin is separation between you and God, it is anything that breaks and harms your soul. So yes, I do understand what sin is.
orthonorm, again, you just aren't understanding where I'm coming from, or you just choose not to listen.
As for augustin's being Orthodox or not... I will say that on a website like this, an Orthodox website. It must always be made absolutely clear who is Orthodox, and who isn't. If someone isn't actually Orthodox and doesn't agree with the fundamental teachings of our faith, then they simply need to make that clear, preferably using their "faith" tag. If someone is Orthodox, then they do need to also make that clear using the "faith" tag.
Why? Because, people come on here and read things, and if someone isn't Orthodox, or if someone doesn't agree with our teachings, it needs to be made clear that they aren't a part of the Church.
Now, augustin, I'm not saying you are or aren't Orthodox. That is entirely up to you. I am just saying why it is so important to know who is and who isn't Orthodox on this website. It isn't just private business when we are representing the Church on a public website.