The Torah, Leviticus
וְאֶת-זָכָר—לֹא תִשְׁכַּב, מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה: תּוֹעֵבָה, הִוא.
Lev.18,22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination.
וְאִישׁ, אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁכַּב אֶת-זָכָר מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה—תּוֹעֵבָה עָשׂוּ, שְׁנֵיהֶם; מוֹת יוּמָתוּ, דְּמֵיהֶם בָּם.
Lev.20,13 And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
References to Homosexuality in The 613 Jewish Laws
The New Testament
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual impurities, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man (Matthew 15: 19-20 (KJV)).
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual impurities, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man (Mark 7: 20-23 (KJV)).
References to Homosexuality in the first four (Irenaen) Gospels of the New Testament
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (Romans 1:26-27).
Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, arsenokoitēs, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, arsenokoitēs, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (1 Timothy 1:8–10)
References to Homosexuality in Paul’s Letters of the New Testament
United States Constitution: AMENDMENT XIV
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Transcript of 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Civil Rights (1868)
CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA, 1995
32. Affirmative action in favour of marginalised groups.
(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, the State shall take affirmative action in favour of groups marginalised on the basis of gender, age, disability or any other reason created by history, tradition or custom, for the purpose of redressing imbalances which exist against them.
As the President of the United States gets ready to sign the Congressional “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010” on Wednesday, December 22, 2010, giving those marginalized because of their gender a chance to freely to serve the United States in the military, Uganda, the National Public Radio (NPR) reports, is experiencing a rising anti-homosexual sentiment in the society supported by some of its politicians. Both are secular countries by constitution with Christian majority populations.
The societies of both the United States and Uganda, as the motivation for the not yet enacted Ugandan death penalty laws against sodomy demonstrates, as reported by NPR, is because of American evangelical preaching in a country that is close to 85% Christian (divided nearly evenly between Catholics and Protestants) according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) World Fact Book.
I began this article in the Judeo-Christian tradition with a series of references to both the Old and New Testaments followed by the American Constitution and then by the Ugandan Constitution. The reason for giving the writing such a structure is to demonstrate the evolution of religious tradition over time in its views about certain marginal human behaviors such as sodomy as the laws of god gradually became the laws of man.
One glance at the pertinent portions of the constitutions of both countries against the backdrop of the relevant portions of the Old and New Testaments shows that the bloody harshness of Leviticus is replaced in Christianity by the fear of God, not the loss of one’s life for sodomy. A compassionate view of the human condition in totality, including those at its margins, becomes the lens through which the Christian societies begin to accept homosexuality.
The nature or nurture debate cannot be escaped by the few who are born different, ultimately the biological nature of God’s creation of the humankind itself being responsible for the gender of the few who are supposedly unnatural according to the religion.
The male and the female are the two sexes, masculinity and femininity being the two genders. Homosexuality does not alter the sex, but affects the gender. Male gay men like female gay men and male gay women prefer female gay women. Leviticus may still hold for the orthodox believers (including its influence on orthodox Islam), but may never have to be enforced because gay men and gay women always lie with those of the same sex but of the opposite gender.
Homosexuality, unnatural because it does not lead to procreation but merely provides sexual gratification, perhaps can one day be indeed cured, not by the death penalty or imprisonment or shameful ostracism by societies (except in cases of the scientific relationship between homosexuality and aberrant sexual behaviors such as pedophilia and other disorders), but by a better understanding of why it occurs biologically and what to do about it.
It must be God’s judgment, not human judgment, until then, to permit the majority of normal, lawful and upright homosexual populations in the world to enjoy the freedoms and normal ways of life their heterosexual counterparts live as a birth right.
Societies, after all, live by the laws they themselves make.