The Bible does not show same-sex couples to be having sex; therefore, they are not sinning against God.
In the Bible Sex is Intercourse
The Bible shows a consistent view on how it presents sex from the beginning, Genesis, to the end, Revelation. And that view is two people becoming ‘one flesh’, which we understand as sexual intercourse. Even in the “figurative” language of the Bible like Hosea 4:12 says, “My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner's wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God”. This spiritual imagery that the Bible is giving is a form of intercourse, showing how the people were being ‘one’ with a false god instead of the One true living God (lean more about being 'one' in Why Jesus WOULD Officiate a Same-sex Wedding).
Love has no Law
Therefore, using the Bible to condemn same-sex couples for being in a monogamous relationship with one another because the Bible forbids their sexual acts, and thus, must hate the whole relationship, is false. The Bible never says and never shows two people of the same sex loving each other as sinful. But what the Bible does teach is that love has no law Galatians 5:22-23. Love is not restricted to our physical world because God is love and God is spirit, therefore love is spiritual. Love is a spiritual experience controlled by God and God alone (read When Two Hearts Become One).
The "Clobber" Passages
Now, Paul tells us love has no law, and depending on how God joins two individuals in love they will want to express that love in an intimate sexual way, which leads us to what the Bible says about sex. Sex has laws, and those laws can be found in Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20. And if we look at those laws, we can see the consistent image of what sex is; sexual intercourse.
Focusing on the seven passages of scriptures used to condemn monogamous same-sex couples, which are known as the “clobber” passages, we can see what the Bible is saying.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10, we see the word “homosexual” clearly written in these verses. But the word “homosexual” is a modern-day word as Rev. Justin Cannon explains on Gaychurch.org:
“The English word homosexual is a compound word made from the Greek word homo, meaning ‘the same’, and the Latin term sexualis, meaning sex. The term ‘homosexual’ is of modern origin, and it wasn’t until about a hundred years ago that it was first used. There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew that is equivalent to the English word homosexual. The 1946 Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible was the first translation to use the word homosexual.”
So, the word “homosexual” was a recent addition to the Bible. Now, if we look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 in the original Greek we will see Paul writes the word “arsenokoitai”. Arsenokoitai was not an everyday word during that time when Paul was writing, in fact this was a new word that Paul made as C. Wayne Mayhall explains in his article Is Arsenokoitai Really that Mysterious?:
“The Greek translation of these Leviticus passages condemns a man (arseno) lying with (koitai) another man (arseno); these words (excuse the pun) lie side-by-side in these passages in Leviticus. Paul joins these two words together into a neologism, a new word (as we do in saying database or software), and thus he condemns in 1Corinthians and 1Timothy what was condemned in Leviticus”
Paul makes up this word, “arsenokoitai” by going back to the sex laws in Leviticus, which states, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” Leviticus 18:22. And Leviticus 20:13, “ If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death”. Because the Bible has a consistent view on sex, the Bible is forbidding the form of sexual intercourse that two men can have which is through the Anus. Therefore, the Bible is not condemning the love that two men might share with each other, but rather the sexual act of intercourse that the two men can have. God’s design and function for men sexual anatomy is to “enter” or penetrate. Men are not designed to be “entered” or penetrated, that is the design and function of a woman's sexual anatomy.
Homosexuality and Judaism
Some Jewish men also understood that the Bible was condemning the form of sexual intercourse that two men can have, not the whole relationship. Elon Gilad from Haaretz says, “The all-important book of Jewish Law, the Talmud, contains statements to the effect that anal sex among men causes solar eclipses (Sukkah 29a) and earthquakes (Jerusalem Talmud, Berachot 13:3), but also distinguishes between two forms of pederasty — anal sex that warrants a penalty of death by stoning, and homosexual sex that doesn’t involve penetration, about which the rabbis were more lenient (Niddah 13b)”. Gilad also states, “In his book ‘Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture’ (1993), the historian Daniel Boyarin applies somewhat creative interpretations of rabbinic texts, that lead him to the conclusion that in late antiquity, Jews engaged in homosexuality openly, albeit without anal sex. For example, Boyarin cites the relationship between Rabbi Johanan bar Nappaha and his student Resh Lakish recounted in Bava Metzia 84a as an example of homosexuality among rabbis”.
Importance of Safe Sex
There are a lot of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that and individual can get from having multiple partners or having sex with someone that have had multiple partners. Which is why the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body”. God created these sex laws for the health of our bodies. God knows that sex is a wonderful and enjoyable act, He created it. But He wants us to be safe and enjoy this intimate act with the one person that He will or have led us to.
Websites like WebMD even acknowledge this as safe sex by saying:
“The only definite way to prevent HIV or STDs is to not have sex at all. The next safest thing is sex between two people who don’t have STDs (including HIV), who have sex only with each other, and who don't use injectable drugs”
Same-sex Relationships between Women
Now, what does the Bible say about two women having sex? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The one verse that is believed by most Christians to be banning two women in a monogamous relationship has nothing to do with two women having “sex” at all. I can say this with confidence because of the Bible overall representation of sex is intercourse. And also because the mention of two women having “sex” is nowhere in the sex laws given in chapters 18 and 20 of Leviticus.
The verse that is believed to be banning two women is Romans 1:26, which says, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural”. Sense Paul is still speaking of sexual intercourse because that is the “natural function”, some Christians believe Paul is suggesting that one of the women had an object to be able to penetrate the other woman, therefore this kind of sexual intercourse is forbidden. But even if one of the women uses an object to penetrate the other woman, it is still not a form of intercourse because that woman’s sexual anatomy is not entering the other woman’s sexual anatomy. The object is entering the other woman. The object is just that an object, it is neither natural nor unnatural because it is not real.
Women and Bestiality
When Paul says his statement in Romans 1:26, we can rest assure that he was speaking of the only act the women were condemned for doing in Leviticus 18 and 20, which was bestiality. “Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion” Leviticus 18:23. “If there is a woman who approaches any animal to mate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them” Leviticus 20:16. Paul correctly states that the act is unnatural because animals are of a different flesh than humans. The Bible confirms this in 1 Corinthians 15:39, “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish”.
Women Sexual Intimacy and Judaism
But let’s entertain the thought that Romans 1:26 was truly speaking of female-female “intercourse” for a moment. God knew that not all of the Jewish community would believe in Jesus, thus, rejecting the New Testament and its teachings entirely. God knows everything, He holds the future, therefore, He knows the future. Gilad tells us, “As for lesbians, Jewish law has ignored homosexuality among women, with the exception of a passage in the Talmud banning it because it could lead women to have illicit sex with men. Nor has Israeli law ever banned sex among women. And it is interesting to note that European languages had terms for lesbians before the 19th century, which may indicate that lesbianism as a social construct existed before homosexuality”.
Is Man Wiser than God?
Now, if Christians are arguing that this one verse about women in Romans 1:26 is truly about two women having “sexual relations”, why would Paul only mention it once? Whereas, with the men he mentions it two other times as we learned above. And each time he uses the word “arsenokoitai”, by which he takes us back to the sex laws of Leviticus. Out of the whole Bible there is nothing showing two women having “sex” like it does for men in Genesis 19. If God is truly disgusted with women having “sex” with one another He would have put it in the Old Testament, so there would have been a law. Remember, Jews had to rely on the Old Testament and all its laws before the New Testament came. Those women who were having “sex” with one another before the New Testament would’ve been sinning against God unknowingly. So, my wisdom would tell me to put this “detestable” act in the sex laws, but God did not put it in His sex laws. Well, if my wisdom tells me to put it in the sex laws, was God being foolish by not putting sexual intercourse between women in the sex laws? Am I wiser than God? No, I am not. My Bible tells me, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” 1 Corinthians 1:25. Therefore, God is showing that women cannot have sexual intercourse with one another, even with using an object.
Men and women that are in monogamous relationships with someone of the same sex are not having sex, which is why Jesus calls them Eunuchs (read The LGBTQ+ Community are Present Day Eunuchs). These couples should not and for women cannot engage in sexual intercourse with their companion. Which is why the Bible does not recognize their intimacy as sex. Thus, the Bible does not condemn the sexual intimacy in monogamous same-sex relationships.
The Greek word for fornication or immorality is Porniea, which means illicit sexual intercourse.