Giuliani, who appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said in response to a question that he did not believe homosexuality was aberrant.
“The way somebody leads their life isn’t sinful. It’s the acts,” said Giuliani, who supports gay rights and lived with an openly gay couple after separating from his second wife while mayor. “It’s the various acts that people perform that are sinful, not the orientation that they have.”
What could that possibly mean? Here are the three main views on this issue:
View A: There's nothing wrong remotely in the area of homosexuality.
View B: Homosexuality (as a sexual orientation) is involuntary (or largely involuntary), but homosexual acts are immoral.
View C: It's morally wrong to be gay, even if you're celibate.
Now I think Giuliani has ruled out all three views. There are acts that he thinks are wrong that are remotely related to homosexuality. So it's not A. It's clearly not C, since he says a homosexual orientation isn't a sin. B might seem the most plausible, and it does seem to follow from his denial of the other two, but he does say that "the way somebody leads their life isn't sinful". Unless he means that in a way that isn't its most natural meaning, I think he's just contradicted his statement that various acts are wrong.
I have two overly charitable interpretations that might make sense of this.
1. View B is his view, and when he refers to the way somebody leads their life he's not talking about acts but orientation. In favor of this is the parallel between his contrast between how you lead your life and your acts and his second contrast between orientation and your acts. But it's extremely strange to talk about orientation as equivalent with how you lead your life. How you lead your life seems more akin to acts than it does to orientation.
2. DaveG's interpretation is correct, and View A is what Giuliani meant to say, which means the acts he refers to have nothing to do with homosexuality. He's making a general claim that sins are acts, and homosexuality isn't an act, so it can't be a sin. The problem with this is that there are acts associated with homosexuality, and his point doesn't say anything against View B, which is an extremely common view. Also, his contrast between acts and orientation does seem to be parallel to the contrast between the way you lead your life and your acts, which would suggest some connection between the acts and the orientation.
I also have a somewhat uncharitable interpretation that might make some sense of it:
3. View A is his view, and the acts he has in mind are ones that don't actually have to do with homosexuality but are commonly associated with it anyway, e.g. male-male incest, paedophilia/pederasty, male-male rape, etc. Homosexuality entails none of those, but they are male-male, and thus they are technically homosexual. What's somewhat uncharitable about interpreting him this way is that it makes him out to connect homosexuality with such acts even when he's trying to defend it. It wouldn't be my first choice to attribute such a view to someone just to try to make sense of what seems to be a contradiction. But I'm not happy with any of the above options, either.