Let’s get something straight. The message of Jesus was one of compassion, love, and inclusivity. It was not the message of division, lies, exclusion that the Republican Party tries to make it out to be. The issue of gay marriage provides particular insight.
I do not believe for one second that Jesus would want homosexuals to be relegated to second-class citizen status simply because of their sexual orientation. Would Jesus think that homosexuality as expressed in a committed, monogamous relationship is a sin? Maybe, maybe not. While we don’t know his views on this for certain, we can look at how he dealt with the second-class citizens of his time to get an idea. Did he run away from prostitutes and tax collectors? Did he exclude them from his love and grace because they were “sinners?” No, he didn’t. He welcomed them, as they were, into his fellowship. They had full membership in his inner circle. And he didn’t say, “First you have to quit collecting taxes or quit being a prostitute before I will welcome you.” He welcomed them, fully, as they were. Their decisions to give up tax collecting and prostitution were their own decisions, not ones that Jesus’ imposed on them or forced them to make. Looking at this example, I believe that Jesus would have fully welcomed practicing homosexuals into his community. He would not force them to change or give up their homosexuality first. Maybe, later, they would choose to give up their homosexuality (if homosexuality is a choice…I believe research shows otherwise), but I don’t believe Jesus would have made that a prerequisite for being in his community.
Denying homosexuals the right to get married and to experience all the legal benefits of married couples (being able to visit their spouse in the hospital, being able to file a joint tax return, being able to reap the benefits of their spouse’s life insurance policy) is discrimination based on sexual orientation. And the Gospel accounts reveal that Jesus never would have supported discrimination of any form.