The Philosopher Mom directed me to this , three-part series at National Catholic Register. (Unfortunately the three parts don’t link to each other. (That’s the kind of site design oversight that drives me crazy.)
This is perhaps the best piece I’ve seen on the topic. The author, Melinda Selmys, has such great insight into the topic and especially good advice on how faithful Catholics can approach the topic because she has been within the homosexual community and is also now a Catholic convert. Her approach is loving and gentle and very reasonable.
Here are a few excerpts:
The first thing that must be understood, is that for all of the misrepresentations and faulty logic employed by gay activist groups, their primary claim � that homosexuality is not a choice � really does reflect the experience of persons with same-sex attractions.
While, as the Catechism frankly states, �Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained,� we do know that there are numerous psychological and possibly biological factors involved that cause a person to feel that they are really, fundamentally and immutably homosexual. This is not simply an excuse used by the gay community in order to give their movement more legitimacy and to generate sympathy for their cause � rather, it is a reflection of their own feelings that this is something that is a part of them, which has always been a part of them, and for which they are in no way responsible.
Essentially, homosexuality seems to be in the same sort of category as something like chronic depression or poor self-image: There may be both physical and psychological components contributing to these disorders, they often arise very early in life, and they are usually the result of factors in early childhood over which the person involved had little, if any, control.
This is not to say that they aren�t responsible for any homosexual activities (although, to quote the Vatican�s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, �circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance�), but rather that they are not usually at fault for their homosexual orientation � just as a person suffering from depression is not to be blamed for feeling depressed, but may still be probably morally culpable if he commits suicide.
This work requires a one-on-one approach � it cannot be done through the mass media � and it cannot be achieved from the pulpit. Most people who have had any success in ministering to persons with same-sex attractions agree that you can�t get anywhere unless you first form a personal relationship.[snip] We must be clear on this: Persons with same-sex attractions, even the most strident, anti-Catholic, shamelessly sexualized demonstrators, are not the enemy. They are our own people, who have fallen into enemy hands, and it is our responsibility as Christians to do anything necessary to win them back. [snip]
We need to bear in mind that many people in the homosexual community feel that they have only ever really been personally accepted by that community � not just because the outside world condemns homosexuality, but because some significant part of the outside world failed to accept their personality even before they had any sort of homosexual feelings.
As a result of this, their genuine personality traits � aspects of themselves that actually are part of the way God made them � are psychologically bound up with their homosexuality. The things that made society (or Daddy or whoever) reject them are a part of their �gayness,� and to reject their homosexuality is, in their eyes, to reject all of those aspects of their personality, as well.
What is necessary, therefore, is to show them that someone can love them, and love all of the things that they erroneously associate with homosexuality, without actually loving their sin. Only when this becomes a practical reality, rather than a theoretical tagline, will they actually believe that it is possible, and understand that they have an identity and a personality with which their sexual desires are not integrally connected.
Since we can�t bring people who identify themselves as �gay� into the Church simply by demonstrating that their actions are contrary to natural law, we need to use another approach.
The one that is most appropriate is, in fact, surprisingly simple: Make the faith appealing. Show them a God who is patient, merciful and loving, a God who brings healing to a world broken by sin. Talk to them about your faith, your experience of God�s healing power and of his forgiveness. Show them that God will meet, perfectly, all of the psychological needs that they have been trying to fulfill through homosexuality.
The Church offers all of those who experience homosexual feelings the chance to seek this healing, not because she hates them or wants them to deny themselves, but rather because she knows that in doing God�s will and discovering the incredible depths of his mercy, they will find their life immeasurably enriched.
Well worth reading the whole piece.