"Let a woman into the pulpit and the next thing you'll have a homosexual - as surely as A leads to B" When this was said to me some years ago I replied that I failed to see the connection between the two situations and to this day I am amazed that women and homosexuals are compared and put in the same category. Without entering into the debate regarding homosexuals and homosexual practice, surely there is a vast difference between a person's gender and a person's sexual preference. The reasons given for not allowing practising homosexuals to be in positions of influence within the church are to do with their sexual habits, whereas the reasons for not allowing women to participate in all aspects of church life and worship are purely because they are female and not because they are deemed to be doing something 'sinful'. One of the frequently used reasons for maintaining rigid roles in the church and home is that without that distinction, children will not be able to distinguish male and female and will be more likely to drift into a homosexual lifestyle. There is no solid evidence that this is correct and in fact, the reverse is more likely, that if young people do not fit into the expected societal models for males and females, then they more easily mix with people of their own gender where they feel more accepted and yes....even loved for who they are. In both these situations, the 'fear' of the increase in homosexual behaviour has driven people to translate certain bible passages in such a way as to restrict women from being all God has made them to be. Surely we should be trusting God to separate the two issues and give us a balanced perspective on gender and sexual practice. Would be interested in others' thoughts and experiences in this area of discrimination against women.