I'm sorry, that doesn't quite cut it. The passage uses homosexuality itself as one of the laundry list of the results of Gentile idolatry- and as the first indication of something seriously wrong, before launching into the sins of the depraved mind.
Wow, I should tell my Roman Catholic friend that his lifelong, unwavering sexual orientation is because of idolatry. Who would have thought?
This is a danger of reading our reading our own cultural context into the document. St Paul is not speaking of the specific orientation of any single individual, but rather a cultural licentiousness born from idolatry. Your friend's attraction might indeed be inborn, but our own cultural worship of Ashtoreth and Moloch has brought about a permissiveness that makes him feel that he is right to act on this behavior (assuming the standard for those arguing in favor of homosexual behavior- for all I know, your Roman Catholic friend is dealing with this through prayer, fasting, and confession).
Even though we might believe these days that homosexuality is not "unnatural" in the sense that it is genetic, we are still required to believe that it is "unnatural" in the sense that all of the other sins St Paul lists in Romans 1, while very "natural" human behaviors, are not consistent with the lifestyle that Christians are called to live....
That said, we are not to judge, as St Paul goes on to explain in Romans 2. The Church is a hospital for sinners, and all are welcome. The problem is, many come to the Church to get their flu shot, only to be offended when the doctor suggests that mole they've had since they were born should be sent for a biopsy. Rather than stick around for diagnosis and cure, they run to a New Age healer that tells them that even if the mole is cancer, cancer is but natural life, and that this life should be encouraged and nourished.
I believe this view runs the risk of denying God as Creator, in fact. Less Christian and more gnostic, if we assume that this created order is hidden. There has to be something redeeming about a homosexual orientation, or it simply would not exist. No, I don't expect the Church to baptize everything about gay culture, but to equate being gay with a disease is to deny the goodness of the created order and to erode the dignity of gays as human beings. Many heterosexuals are in no place to be talking about the mole they see on the gay man or woman's body when they don't know the cancer in their own soul. The true Christ-like spirit is to protect the stranger and the alien, as God commands, and this includes people that are different from us in our ideologies, lifestyles, and sexual orientations. Only then, in the context of an authentic relationship based on love and vulnerability (which is a two way street), to discuss the spec in the brother's eye. A Christian should not approach a gay person as a mere "sinner", but as a holy mystery of infinite dignity.
You are close to right here- a Christian should not approach anyone
as a "mere sinner", but as someone made in the likeness and image of God. The only person we should be approaching as a "sinner" is ourselves- and not as a "mere" sinner, but as the very worst of sinners. However, the individual Christian is not the Church in and of himself. There is nothing "gnostic" in the view that humanity is fallen. Indeed, the fallen-ness of humanity reiterates the goodness of Creation- we are sinners not because of Creation, not because our matter is evil, but because our flesh has been tainted by death and our minds by the fear of death. The Church is the Ark of Salvation, it is the Body of Christ witnessing to the World, and Christ is the Great Physician come to bring new life to all. Homosexuality is a disease of the human condition, as is all other lust, along with envy, pride, wrath, greed, sloth, and gluttony. All humans we know of (with the possible exception of two other than our Lord) have a certain innate tendency toward one or the other. Should we encourage the psychopath in his lifestyle simply because he was born with the tendency to wear human suits or fire hundreds of thousands of people from his Fortune 500 to get a paltry raise, or should we offer to help him?
To be entirely frank, I don't like discussing the sinfulness of homosexuality (because I think in the case of most homosexuals it doesn't do much good and more harm- better to let each individual come to his or her own conclusion, in conjunction with their confessor and the Church)- save with Episcopalians who trumpet "tolerance" and really mean "permissiveness". Were this discussion with a Southern Baptist, I might sound an awful lot like an Episcopalian. But there is nothing to praise in celebrating homosexuality, any more than the Corinthians were praised for celebrating their own sexually immoral brother (a quite heterosexual crime, that one- and I am sure he was simply following his biological imperative, not to mention fulfilling his Freudian impulses, though one certainly hopes the woman in question was his step