Is Gay Sex a Sin – The Bible

In the previous post I looked at what I thought; I am now going to start a series of posts looking at why.  In this one I will look at the Bible.

There are thought to be eight main passages which have been taken to condemn gay sex, these are sometimes known as “clobber texts”.  There is lots of material out there on these, for example this, and this.

There are also two Greenbelt talks by James Alison on the topic: here and here.

There are obviously other interpretations of these passages, but it rather depends how you choose to interpret the Bible.

To give a couple of examples:

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Leviticus 18:22.

When Lesley was quoted this in debate she asked whether it meant that she should be a lesbian!  If you want to read the Bible taking the plain meaning of the words then that is what it appears to say.  Of course, people will argue that in the culture of the time only men were being addressed, but then you are no longer using the plain meaning.

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination;
Leviticus 20:13a

This verse of course would appear to resolve the problem (note though, that the plain meaning does not forbid lesbianism); however, if you read the second half of the verse

they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

I hear very few people suggesting that this should be carried out, and surely the plain meaning of a sentence should be all or nothing?

The other argument against gay sex would be that all sex outside marriage is forbidden – however, what is the definition of marriage?  The nature of marriage has changed over the years; in Biblical times Jewish marriage didn’t involve the religious leaders; and in our theology lectures we were taught that the couple are the ministers of the marriage, we are there to legally register it and to call God’s blessing upon it.  We were also asked when we thought a couple got married: when they first had sex, when they first promised each other that they would be a couple or when they got the certificate?  The previous two links would allow a number of different answers to that – however, if the couple are the ministers of the marriage then it is possible for a gay couple to be married.

So what do you think?