It is clear that the issue of homosexuality is going to doom religions unless they learn to accept it. Some have re-interpreted their texts to accommodate the changes but this is not going to be easy for others (evangelicals, the Catholic church, and Muslims) to do because they have gone to the mat on this issue, to argue that it violates the very core of their religious beliefs.
Telling them that they wrongly interpreted their religious texts all these years is going to create some angst. C. S. Pearce describes how one young evangelical posed the issue to him: “If this ‘new’ interpretation of the Bible is true, how could Christians have had it wrong all these years?”
Pearce points out that this is hardly unprecedented:
For many centuries, “good” Christians used the Bible as a basis to deny women basic human and civil rights, to imply that handicapped people must have sinned to deserve their disability, and to justify anti-Semitism.
It wasn’t until the late 1700s that Christians began to seriously question the morality of slavery. When the U.S. finally abolished slavery in 1865, many sincere Christians still believed it was a valid state for black people, and found biblical “justifications” to back it up. As a result, some Christian colleges in the South continued to bar people of color from attending through the 1960s and 1970s.
Interracial dating, too, was considered taboo for many years because of certain Bible passages. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court finally struck down the last of the state laws banning interracial marriage, but it wasn’t until March 2000 that the “biblically faithful” Bob Jones University lifted its ban against interracial dating.
History has shown that harmful beliefs will continue until people begin to question them, even in the church. And the questioning is always controversial at first.
The question is not if religions will change their stance on homosexuality, but when.