Two unrelated points. I try to make a precise distinction between sinning and repenting and saying that something isn't a sin. Seared conscience, hardness of heart and all that. But I have to admit that even people whose emotions aren't on the line don't often get the distinction, as per my first post and the cognitive dissonance of "nice people," and "sin I really disapprove of." This also hearkens back to my post of a month ago Not Really, Really Wrong. How much harder it must be for younger people, already in a world awash with rejections and with the cultural imperative to find a place in the world, to get what I am driving at? The students that bsking mentioned would likely have trouble with even implied rejection, never mind explicit.
The logical distinction, as important at it is, may just be lost 90% of the time. At that point, are we not punishing them for the quite minor sin of not thinking very hard when their bell has been rung?
Second point. The misunderstanding perpetuates because the ones who stay are the fighters, whether righteous or chip-on-the-shoulder or both, who want to insist that homosexuality is no sin and want to change the church. Those are the gays and lesbians the church rulemakers encounter most, and quite naturally - but quite wrongly - assume that's what all gays are like. Most gays and lesbians I know are not at all activist, and in fact tend to find activists a little tedious. But to church groups, there seems to be a Let's Nip This In The Bud attitude that is harsh to those who don't deserve it.