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GENTILES AND HOMOSEXUALS: A Brief History of an Analogy



This paper examines the argument that moral approval of homosexuality is analogous to the early church's inclusion of gentiles. The analogy has a long but often overlooked history, dating back to the start of the modern gay-rights movement. It has recently gained greater prominence because of its importance to the Episcopal Church's debate with the wider Anglican Communion. Beginning with the Episcopal Church argument, we see that there are five specific areas most in need of further clarification. In this essay I examine significant uses of the analogy from the prior 25 years to see how effectively they address these five areas. I conclude that the conversation surrounding the Gentile Analogy is the current, best hope for mutual understanding among Christians about homosexuality. However, if the analogy is to advance the Christian conversation, much greater care and precision is needed in its application from traditionalists and revisionists alike.