Regardless of whether "pais" refers to simply a servant or a homosexual lover, one cannot responsibly interpret the passage to mean that Jesus condoned homosexuality.
Jesus healed many people regardless of their ethnicity, political ties, gender, age, etc... When Jesus healed the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7, he wasn't condoning everything in the Syrophoenician culture. When Jesus had mercy on the woman caught in the very act of adultery (John
, he wasn't condoning her adultery. When Jesus raised Jarius' (a ruler of the synagogue) daughter from the dead in Luke 8, he wasn't condoning everything that Jarius may or may not have taught at the synagogue. When Jesus healed the palsied man in Mark 2 that had been lowed down through a hole made in the roof of the house he was teaching in, he wasn't condoning destruction to another's property. When Jesus ate with publicans, sinners and most likely prostitute (Mark 2), he wasn't condoning their lifestyles, in fact, he actually called them to repentance (2:17).
Jesus broke many cultural norms such as speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well. Good Jewish men didn't frequently talk to women outside of their immediate family in public, especially not to Samaritan woman, and especially not to women of a questionable reputation. However, Jesus talked to her in spite of the cultural taboos. Did this mean that Jesus was encouraging his disciples to start talking to adulterous, Gentile women in public?
On another occasion, Jesus healed a leprous man and actually touched him in doing so. Jesus could have healed the man with his words alone but he went out of his way to touch the man. This was unheard of in Jesus' day. Did this mean that Jesus was promoting the touching of leprous people, i.e. the spreading of a horrible disease of which there was no known cure?
In the case of the centurion's servant and/or homosexual partner as found in Matthew 8 and Luke 7, can one responsibly interpret Jesus' healing as a commentary of his view on homosexuality? I think not. If Jesus was condoning the centurion's possible homosexual relationship, then we might as well interpret that Jesus was condoning the Roman occupation and treatment of the Jews. Don't forget that the Romans were hated by the Jews due to the occupation and bloodshed. The Romans worshiped false gods, desecrated Jewish holy places, and enslaved many Jewish freedom fighters. Was Jesus condoning all these things as well?
I think a responsible interpretation is that Jesus had power to heal, Jesus had the power to heal even over great distances, and Jesus did not discriminate over who he healed.
Furthermore, I believe that based on the context, one can clearly see that Jesus was placing a greater emphasis on the centurion's ethnicity than on his possible sexual orientation. Matthew 8:10-12 was a direct assault on the idea of Jewish exclusivism. The Old Testament contains many passages that indicate God's plan of salvation for all peoples, both Jew and Gentile. In fact, the Jews were to be a light to the Gentiles; however, the both failed at that and even forgot their calling due in part to Gentile hostility.
All throughout the Gospels, Jesus poked holes in the idea of Jewish exclusivity. The purpose of this miracle in Matthew 8 was similar and unique. First it was similar in the fact that it was meant to demonstrate Jesus' divinity. This was common to all of Jesus' miracle. Secondly, it was unique in the fact that it displayed Jesus' power to heal over great distances. Finally, it was unique in the fact that it showed the Jesus did not discriminate against healing Gentiles. If its purpose was to be a clear commentary on Jesus' views of homosexuality, then it really missed the mark. Readers would have to go to great lengths to interpret it that way.
Furthermore, we see in Luke 7 that the centurion was one who was deemed worthy by the elders of the Jews because he loved the Jewish nation and had built for them a synagogue. Based on our knowledge of Jewish culture and their view of homosexuality, it doesn't seem likely that the elders of the Jews would be so quick to shower praise on a man especially for the purpose of sparing his homosexual partners life. Many commentators believe that this centurion was a convert to Judaism based on his recognition of Israel as a nation, his love for them and his contributions in building a synagogue. Therefore, if this centurion was a convert to Judaism, then homosexuality would almost certainly be ruled out.
In addition, Luke's account points out that the centurion deemed himself unworthy to have Jesus enter his house and he deemed himself unworthy to actually come to Jesus, but instead had the elders of the Jews and his friends act as go-betweens. There are a number of ways to interpret the centurion's two-fold view of his unworthiness and of Jesus' power and worthiness. First, we could assume he was a homosexual and ashamed of his sin. Second, we could assume that he was ashamed of being a Gentile, even more a Roman centurion. Third, we could assume that he was in tight with the Jewish leaders and didn't want a radical like Jesus seen in his house even though he secretly believed in him. Fourth, we could assume that he was just a very humble person. Fifth, we could assume that he regarded Jesus as the Messiah and was so humbled by the knowledge of God that he couldn't bear to be in his presence. This last view might seem extreme, but if one has great, reverential fear of God, then they will cower in his presence. Some, all or none of these assumptions might be correct; but it is clear that one cannot dogmatically say that it was solely based on the centurion's homosexuality.
Wrapping up, it is interesting to note that Luke, who was a doctor and more familiar with Greek and who's accept was written primarily to a Gentile audience, uses the word "doulos" 4 to 1 over "pais"; and Matthew, which was written to a primarily Jewish audience uses the work "pais". Multiple things could be inferred from this, but either way it is interesting to note.
In conclusion, it is always best to interpret any passage in light of all that the Bible teaches. This is one of the fundamental principles in biblical hermeneutics. One cannot arrive at any one conclusion about any one subject based on any one passage. God's view on homosexuality [i.e. Jesus' view] must be interpreted in light of all that the Bible teaches, not in light of a controversial interpretation of one Greek word.
And here's the part where the non-believes and false-professors will get offended.
Just in case you were wondering, the Bible condones one type of sexual behavior: heterosexual relations within the bonds of a God-honoring marriage. All other forms of sexuality must be repented of--adultery, masturbation, fornication, perverted thoughts, bestiality, polygamy, homosexuality, pedophilia, rape, incest, pornography, fantasizing, etc… Yes, perverted thoughts are just as much a sexual sin as incest and adultery. God's original intention was one man and one woman for life. All sin is a deviation from God's original intention. Lying is a deviation from God's intention of truth. Theft is a deviation from God's intention of contentment. Homosexuality and the other a fore mentioned sexual deviations are all in direct opposition to God's plan for sexuality.
Stop trying to justify your wicked lifestyles. Repent and submit to the God of the Bible, who hates all your sexual deviations so much that he crushed his perfect Son in order to rightly punish them.