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Judaism's view on Homosexuality

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Topic: Homosexuality, Judaism

A Curious, Wondering Jew writes:

Dear Rabbi,

Now that science has determined that homosexuality is genetically transmitted how does that affect the Jewish view of Homosexuals?

Thank you,

Dear Curious, Wondering, Jew,

Two points. First: Although there has been some research into the role genetics has on homosexuality, no conclusive evidence to support this claim has emerged. That some people have a predisposition to this kind of behavior is not in question, but the argument about its origins continues. Even if it was proven that homosexuality is genetically transmitted, that would not mean that we must condone the behavior. There are many conditions that are genetically transmitted (for example, color blindness) yet we continue to search for a way to overcome them.

Second: The Torah's view of Jewish homosexuals is that they are just as much a part of the community as everyone else. We have an obligation to treat them with the same respect and compassion that we must treat every other human being. What is objectionable in the eyes of the Torah is the particular sexual act, NOT the person. "Thou shalt not lie with a man after the manner of a woman: it is an abomination." The Torah is not judging the person; only the behavior.

The difficulty arises when people insist on identifying homosexuals exclusively by their sexual orientation. Then when the sexual behavior is condemned, this condemnation is transferred to their entire modus vivendi. Human beings are much more than their sexual behavior and must be treated that way.


  • Leviticus ch.18, v.22

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