The progressives believe that our moral sense has grown beyond the days of the Bible and is perhaps still growing. The days of slavery and witch hunts are seen as a spiritual dark age in which the teachings of Christ were not given their proper place, and the great command to love your neighbor as yourself was placed lower than some of the lesser commands. Laws were kept that should have been abolished in light of Christ. Progressives generally believe we are in the same situation today with the question of female leadership; some also believe the same about abortion and the acceptance and inclusion of homosexuality.
Response to criticism: Some progressives, though certainly not all, see sexual purity as an outdated concept. Many -- possibly most -- progressives see the larger issue as simple injustice. The focus is eliminating discrimination against women. Almost all progressives would also include allowing women to end a pregnancy. Again, many progressives would include ending discrimination against homosexuals.
Because there is a collection of issues under the umbrella of "progressive morality", some of the fair questions depend on which particular issue is being discussed. What things are you willing to stand up for as certainly right or wrong when it comes to sexuality? What do you make of the fact that single parent families are more likely to live in poverty, have children drop out of school, use drugs, and commit crimes -- do Christians have a role to play in preventing these through building lasting families? What do you make of the role that sexual promiscuity plays in health problems such as AIDS and cervical cancer, or the role that abortion plays in risk of cancer? What do you make of the fact that homosexual activity has played a significant role in the spread of AIDS and therefore in the disease and deaths of many homosexuals? Do you believe that promiscuous people (maybe particularly the youngest adults) frequently engage in deceit, peer pressure, or emotional blackmail to get sex? If so, does your church body have a clear teaching that would empower a young adult to hold his or her ground and not be taken advantage of? Does your church body have a clear teaching that would give people a sense of direction and purpose in building a lasting and healthy family life? If an individual does not belong to a lasting and healthy family, will that affect the ability to be a healthy, happy, well-adjusted individual? (Again, not all of these questions apply to each progressive; the wide range of the list is related to the wide variety of issues that are considered.)
All of the controversies in the conservative/liberal group tend to revolve around the moral authority of the Bible -- where that authority lies, whether it shows progress over time, and how we understand the source of its authority. Here are some related posts on controversies on the Bible's moral authority.