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What does the Bible say about homosexuality

Discussions of homosexuality or “same-sex marriage,” whether in person, in the media or on the Internet, often turn to what the Bible says. Someone is likely to argue that homosexuality is a sin and point to Leviticus, Romans or the Genesis story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Others will suggest homosexuality is not a sin. They’ll say things like, “Jesus never mentioned homosexuality” or “Eating shellfish and wearing a shirt with two kinds of thread are also forbidden in Leviticus, but you don’t follow those rules, do you?” The discussion often becomes convoluted, incoherent or angry, degenerating into a shouting match.

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In the bible we find exhortations to welcome strangers, be good neighbors, forgive one another, care for the vulnerable, pray for others (including those who are unkind to us), treat others as we would wish to be treated, not judge others unfairly, live humbly and show mercy and work for justice…all of these are demonstrations of love. We find in the bible that “the fruit of the Spirit is love…” In fact, Jesus is recorded as having said that his followers could be identified by their loving actions. He also said love was the greatest of all commandments.
Perhaps you have participated in similar discussions—face to face or online. Maybe you’ve seen these arguments or used them yourself. You may have found yourself wrestling with doubts about the validity of your personal convictions and the traditional Christian understanding of homosexuality and same-sex relationships.

For me, love is the biblical message and mandate, and love does not condemn love. Love does not diminish people. Love does not seek to deny justice or dignity or safety to anyone. Love does not suggest that anyone is unworthy of or beyond the reach of love.
Does the bible, an anthology of writings whose running theme is love, condemn same-gender loving people? As someone who has spent my life studying, teaching, wrestling with, and even playing with the bible, I must say unequivocally, it does not.

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