Children do better if their parents stay married. Sometimes a married parent discovers or decides that he or she (more likely he) has a primarily homosexual orientation. Obviously, we are not talking here about people who have an exclusively homosexual orientation, or they wouldn't have gotten married and had kids in the first place. Rather, we are talking about the dilemma of those who feel torn between their love and duty toward their spouse and children, on the one hand, and their newly estimated sexual orientation.
A pastor recently told me of a discussion in his church about homosexuality. The talk was stopped dead by the stories told by two women whose ex-husbands discovered that they were gay. In this pastor's mind, that case settled the issue: gay men can't be married to women, so they should be free to divorce their wives and, if they want to, marry other men. And the same would go for married lesbians.
I think, though, that these sad cases do not settle the issue at all. There are many married men and women with a homosexual orientation, who nonetheless remain effective and contented spouses and parents. This situation is not ideal, but it is good enough. Michele Wolkomir's studies of effective ex-gay ministries found that the men in these groups (her study did not include lesbians) were not trying to change their orientation. Rather, they were getting all kinds of help in disciplining their actions because they loved their wives and children.
I am not saying that married parents who discern their own homosexual desires must stay married, and I am certainly not saying they should be forbidden to divorce. Rather, I have noted that there are success stories and supportive resources for men (and women, though I know this less well) who wish to stay married.
There is a peculiar tendency on the liberal side of the aisle to regard sexual identity as a mere social construction, a "gender," – whereas sexual orientation is imperious biological identity that we must always bow to. This is odd, if not upside down. At the least, I think it would be safer to think of both sex/gender and sexual orientation/preference as composed by both nature and nurture. Personally I think of both of them as 50/50 propositions.
When married parents discern a homosexual orientation in themselves, they are not obliged to drop everything and respond. Married parents have other identities, orientation, preferences, and duties that call at least as forcefully.