Many of the recent denominational statements on the topic of human sexuality make a clear distinction between being aware of having same-sex attractions, and engaging in same-sex erotic activity. Examples:
- The 1980 statement of the American Lutheran Church said,
We believe it appropriate to distinguish between homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior. Persons who do not practice their homosexual erotic preference do not violate our understanding of Christian sexual behavior.
- The early draft of the 1993 version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church said, "Homosexuals do not choose their condition. For most of them it is an ordeal."
So my question, for those who agree that there is a distinction, is how and when did such a distinction come about? Can it be found in treatments of the church fathers? Or is it a relatively modern distinction, coming about after seeing homosexuals in the community?