As for those who seemd to be important - whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearances. v.6
A person is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. v.16
Right now I am reading Bruce Bawer's book Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity
. Though I disagree with him on his undertanding of scripture, he makes a distinction between the two sides of Christianity as "The church of law" and "The church of love".
The "church of the law" are legalists who want to impose man-made rules on others. They want to judge people by outward apperance. They have made "Christianity" a list of rules. People are good "Christians" when they follow the letter of the law. Hellfire awaits those who disagree. I think most people see Christianity as adhereance to the rules. Paul combts this very problem in his day.
The "church of love" are those who believe that we are a people of faith and are motivated by that faith to live out lives of love. The message of Christ is one of love. All the customs, regulations and practices are useful only if they come from faith and are motivated by love.
I see among the LGBT community in general a skepticism (if not downright hostility many times) to Christianity because the "church of law" seems to be the side of Christianity that dominates in American culture. We need Saint Paul to come today and take fundamentalist Christianity to task for making the church a church of rules that ignores the message of faith and refuses to show forth the love of God.