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Is same-sex sexual attraction wrong or immoral?

Many people believe same-sex behavior is considered to be morally wrong by all religions...

The loud pronouncements of religious fanatics who condemn same-sex sexual behavior lead many people to believe that such behavior is considered to be morally wrong by all religions. When you look at the issue more closely, however, you find that isn't true.

The truth is that some religions prohibit same-sex sexual behavior and some don't.

The best place to research this is through a website created by the highly respected Pew Research Center. The link is:

This website summarizes the positions that sixteen of the world's major religious groups have taken on both homosexuality and same-sex marriage. It also contains links to official documents issued by those religious groups.

At one extreme, religion groups such as the Lutherans, the Mormons, and the Muslims, do not allow same-sex marriage and prohibit homosexuality. But at the other extreme, Buddhism and Hinduism say very little about homosexuality, and a number of major churches, including Presbyterians, Unitarians, and several branches of Judaism - allow same-sex marriage or at least same-sex unions. Under Pope Francis, the Catholic Church has moved in the direction of tolerance for people who engage in same-sex sexual behavior, although it does not allow same-sex marriage.

Prohibitions against same-sex sexual behavior among Orthodox Jews, some branches of Christianity, and Islam, all come from the same place: a handful of verses in the Judeo-Christian Bible that condemn the practice of men "lying with" other men. The Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, bases it prohibition against homosexuality on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah from the Bible's book of Genesis, which the Qur'an summarizes. Those cities were destroyed by God after men there threatened to rape two of God's male angels. Same-sex sexual behavior is not mentioned in the Bible's Ten Commandments, and same-sex sexual behavior between women is generally ignored by almost all ancient religious texts.

The handful of anti-gay verses in ancient documents cannot be erased, so some religious people might always think of same-sex sexual behavior as immoral. On the other hand, tolerance or even acceptance of same-sex sexual behavior has also been justified by ancient verses - Jesus's teachings of love and tolerance in the New Testament, for example.

If the morality of same-sex sexual behavior bothers you, you have two options: You can avoid religion altogether, or you can affiliate yourself with religious groups, such as the Unitarians or the Reform Jews, that are very welcoming to people who feel same-sex attractions.

The great religions of the world are unlikely to reach a consensus about the morality of same-sex attraction, so, ultimately, the moral issue is one for your own heart. It is between you and your Creator, as you envision Him or Her.

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