Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction to members of one's own gender. The rights of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals is a contentious political issue in much of the world, due in part to religious views on the perceived moral incorrectness of homosexuality. One particularly fierce debate at the time of this writing is the legality of gay marriage.
Many conservative Christians, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs prefer to continue current restrictions against gays, lesbians and bisexuals — including prohibition of same-sex marriage. Some advocate the restoration of laws which once criminalized same-sex behavior. Many oppose the extension of existing hate-crime laws to include sexual orientation.
The Bible on homosexuality
- In Genesis 19 , God destroys the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; some say that widespread practice of homosexuality was the main reason.
- Leviticus 18:22 : "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."
- Leviticus 20:13 : "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them."
- Deuteronomy and 1 Kings state that there shall be no sodomites allowed in Israel.
- Romans 1:26-27 : "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence [sic] of their error which was meet."
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 : "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (emphasis added)
- 1 Timothy 1:9-10 : "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine." (emphasis added)
Counterarguments to the Bible's stance
- Genesis 19, while commonly held to describe the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for the "sin" of homosexuality, more likely describes their destruction because of wickedness in general rather than just for homosexuality. They wanted to rape the angels, it makes sense that the sin was in fact rape, not consenting homosexuality. Ezekiel 16:49 (KJV) reads as such:
- "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."
This supports the view that the sins of Sodom were not homosexuality.
- Leviticus 18:22 can have more than one interpretation. Some people have suggested what is condemned in this verse is pagan rituals, which involved homosexual acts. This fits in with the context of the verse, as Leviticus 18:27-28 specifically says that the pagans defiled the land with such acts.
- Although the book of 1 Kings does say that there will be no sodomites in Israel, that's only in the King James Version. Other, more accurate modern translations render the word "male temple prostitute".
- The translation of 1 Corinthians 6:9 as "homosexuals" is contentious. The words translated as "homosexual"(RSV) are "malakoi" meaning soft or effeminate, and "arsenokoitai" whose meaning as debatable but literally translates as "male-bedder". It is possible that Paul in this verse is condeming prostitution. There were temple prostitutes in Corinth at the time who were involved in worshipping other gods.
- There is also no indication that homosexuality is somehow a more severe sin than fornication. So at worst homosexuals should be treated the same as anyone else who has sex outside of marriage. Have you ever seen an angry mob opposing unmarried couples?
- Romans 1:26-27 describes clearly how God himself made people homosexual.
Arguments for the naturalness of homosexuality
- The discovery of homosexuality in many other species, such as goats and penguins, has shown that homosexuality most likely isn't a choice, but rather something a person is born with. See Wikipedia:Non-human animal sexual behavior.