OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
You say that "The word […] translated as "homosexual" referred to the same sexual act (two partners of the same gender) as it does today." Frankly I don’t think you can make that claim unless you believe that an act’s meaning is solely determined by the physical facts. And hopefully you don’t believe that. Rather, I’m sure you’d acknowledge that acts derive meaning from context. And since the context of the ‘homosexual’ acts in Paul’s letters is not the same as the context of the homosexual acts in monogamous loving relationships today, the question of rightness and/or wrongness of those acts needs to be settled by an appeal to some higher principles. PastorPete is trying to identify such principles.
For instance, to the question "Is heterosexual sex right or wrong?", we might answer "well, that depends." The context of that act is crucial to determining the rightness or wrongness of that act. Most Christians would say that (heterosexual) sex has to occur within the bounds of loving monogamous marriage to be acceptable, but also that the particular act needs to be non-coercive, loving, and done in a way that is consistent with the 3 principles PastorPete has identified.
I think PastorPete is trying to say that the same logic must apply to the question "Is homosexual sex right or wrong?" Instead of saying ‘oh my oh my, it’s got two penises, so it’s wrong!’ (pardon the caricature), it might be better to say "well, that depends—how does the context of that act affect its rightness or wrongness?" You see, being right or wrong is never just a matter of what physical facts are true. Meaning arises in context, and so this thread intends to be an exploration of the contextual elements that might validate or invalidate loving homosexual acts.
This is why both PastorPete and I can fully affirm the authority of Scripture on this issue. Though we agree with Paul that what he was condemning was bad, we are arguing that, contextually speaking, what’s going on today isn’t the same thing.
Regardless of your view on Scriptural inspiration (I doubt many people here would unqualifiedly commit to your claim that "God wrote the Bible"—why do you say that by the way?), the issue here is not the authority of Scripture, but rather the content of Scripture.
You say that infertile couples are ‘a special case’ but that homosexual couples are not. I disagree. I think both are, in a sense, abnormal. I have heard that an estimated 2 to 3% of Americans have problems with infertility. Statistics on homosexuality reveal similar numbers. Abnormality, however, does not ground immorality.
I would urge you, if you really want to argue for the unacceptability of homosexuality, not to point to specific texts (which have already been well discussed elsewhere), but rather to appeal to biblical principles that will help in the conversation. This is what PastorPete is trying to do for his argument, which is why your counters seem to be missing the point.
As an additional challenge to your view, one might bring up intersex people and what kind of sex is appropriate for them… Paul never talks about intersex—so would that make it ok for someone physiologically between a male and female to get married and have sex? Just curious… (see www.isna.org for more info)