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S1. Engaging in Homosexuality.    [Make a Comment]

We are not to have sexual contact with persons of our own gender.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures

Genesis 19:4-7
But before they could go to bed, the men of the city surrounded the house - young and old, everyone from every neighborhood of S'dom. They called Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them out to us! We want to have sex with them!" Lot went out to them and stood in the doorway, closing the door behind him, and said, "Please, my brothers, don't do such a wicked thing.

Leviticus 18:7a (Maimonides RN351; Meir MN111; Chinuch C189)
You are not to have sexual relations with your father ...

Leviticus 18:14 (Maimonides RN352; Meir MN114; Chinuch C199)
You are not to disgrace your father's brother by having sexual relations with his wife, because she is your aunt. ([Included here because the classical commentators interpret this Scripture as our not having homosexual relations with our father's brother.])

Leviticus 18:22 (Maimonides RN350-RN351; Meir MN116; Chinuch C189, C199, C209)
You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13
If a man goes to bed with a man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they must be put to death; their blood is on them.

Deuteronomy 23:18(17)-19(18) (Maimonides RN350; Chinuch C209)
No woman of Isra'el is to engage in ritual prostitution, and no man of Isra'el is to engage in ritual homosexual prostitution. Nothing earned through heterosexual or homosexual prostitution is to be brought into the house of ADONAI your God in fulfillment of any vow, for both of these are abhorrent to ADONAI your God.

Romans 1:26-28
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting

1 Corinthians 6:9
Don't you know that unrighteous people will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't delude yourselves - people who engage in sex before marriage, who worship idols, who engage in sex after marriage with someone other than their spouse, who engage in active or passive homosexuality ...

1 Timothy 1:9-11
We are aware that Torah is not for a person who is righteous, but for those who are heedless of Torah and rebellious, ungodly and sinful, wicked and worldly, for people who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral - both heterosexual and homosexual - slave dealers, liars, perjurers, and anyone who acts contrary to the sound teaching that accords with the Good News of the glorious and blessed God. This Good News was entrusted to me

Jude 1:7
And S'dom, 'Amora and the surrounding cities, following a pattern like theirs, committing sexual sins and perversions, lie exposed as a warning of the everlasting fire awaiting those who must undergo punishment.

Supportive Scriptures

Matthew 15:19-20
For out of the heart come forth wicked thoughts, murder, adultery and other kinds of sexual immorality, theft, lies, slanders ... These are what really make a person unclean, but eating without doing n'tilat-yadayim does not make a person unclean.

Romans 13:13-14
Let us live properly, as people do in the daytime - not partying and getting drunk, not engaging in sexual immorality and other excesses, not quarrelling and being jealous. Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Yeshua the Messiah; and don't waste your time thinking about how to provide for the sinful desires of your old nature.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13
In my earlier letter I wrote you not to associate with people who engage in sexual immorality. I didn't mean the sexually immoral people outside your community, or the greedy, or the thieves or the idol-worshippers - for then you would have to leave the world altogether! No, what I wrote you was not to associate with anyone who is supposedly a brother but who also engages in sexual immorality, is greedy, worships idols, is abusive, gets drunk or steals. With such a person you shouldn't even eat! For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Isn't it those who are part of the community that you should be judging? God will judge those who are outside. Just expel the evildoer from among yourselves.

1 Corinthians 6:13
"Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food"? Maybe, but God will put an end to both of them. Anyhow, the body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:18-19
Run from sexual immorality! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the fornicator sins against his own body. Or don't you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don't belong to yourselves

1 Corinthians 10:8
And let us not engage in sexual immorality, as some of them did, with the consequence that 23,000 died in a single day.

Galatians 5:19
And it is perfectly evident what the old nature does. It expresses itself in sexual immorality, impurity and indecency

Ephesians 5:3
Among you there should not even be mentioned sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or greed; these are utterly inappropriate for God's holy people.

Colossians 3:5
Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature- sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry)

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
What God wants is that you be holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to manage his sexual impulses in a holy and honorable manner, without giving in to lustful desires, like the pagans who don't know God.


Homosexuality in the Bible means any sexual contact with a person of one's own gender. As in much in the Bible, the relevant verses of Scripture read as though they are written to men, but the New Covenant Scriptures make it clear that they apply to women as well (Romans 1:26). The prohibited sexual contact referred to is not limited to physically touching another same sex's genitals; it includes any display, touching, conversation, and probably even intentionally evoked personal thoughts of a homosexual nature, engaged-in in order to cause sexual arousal. All homosexual acts are sinful.

On the other hand, the Scriptures do not call homosexual feelings (or any feelings) sin. There are some among us who (for reasons that only God knows) were born with a dysfunction such that their sexual feelings are not consistent with the gender of their physical genitalia. This is a most unhappy condition that they must deal with by control and abstinence (i.e. not allowing their actions to fulfill their desires), much as a heterosexual person must abstain from heterosexual activity that is scripturally prohibited. Persons having homosexual feelings that they do not act on should be received within the body of believers without reservation, but their condition should be viewed as abnormal, and prayer should not cease for their healing. Also, it is important that their congregation's elders know about their condition because any slippage of the flesh in this area is almost certain to adversely affect others with whom they relate and come in contact.

Classical Commentators:
Maimonides, Meir, and HaChinuch only address male on male homosexuality in their mitzvot; they do not discuss women. They opine that the expressions "uncover one's nakedness" or "lie with" in the Bible mean to have sexual contact in which a male's sex organ is physically inserted into another male's orifice (mouth or anus). This is sometimes referred to as "sodomy".

Special mention is made here of all three commentators' peculiar interpretation of Leviticus 18:14, which they interpret as not having homosexual relations with one's father's brother despite the Scripture speaking of one's father's brother's wife.


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