One of the most disturbing aspects of the religious right vs. gay rights
controversy to those who know the Bible is the misuse made of it by
fundamentalists.  I suppose it is only natural; those who favour gay
rights are often unconcerned with what the Bible may or may not have
First, the Bible says nothing about gays just as it says nothing about
the importance of observing traffic signals.  At the time of the
composition of the various books in the Bible (from oral tradition 2000
BC to after 100 AD) there was no awareness of the concept of sexual
Second, Biblical writers were, however, well aware of the possibility of
loving a member of the same sex.  The two most beautiful love stories in
the Bible concern same-sex relationships: David's with Jonathan, and
Ruth's with Naomi.  The Bible is quite clear concerning the spiritual and
physical nature of David and Jonathan's relationship: "the soul of
Jonathan was knit to the soul of David" (1Sa18.01), "let us go out into
the field" (1Sa20.1), Jonathan's love for David was "wonderful, passing
the love of women" (2Sa1.26).  The Bible is less clear concerning Ruth
and Naomi; perhaps the writer and later transcribers had as much
difficulty comprehending the possibility of a physical relationship
between women as did Queen Victoria much later.
Third, repeatedly the Bible defines the sin of Sodom as pride and
inhospitality (e.g. Ez16.49).  The condemnation of Sodom condemns
homosexuality no more that the condemnation of rape condemns
heterosexuality.  Most other references to same-sex behaviour are in
relation to temple prostitution.  There is but one unambiguous
condemnation of same sex physical relations in the Old Testament
(Lv18.22), much less than of eating pork (Lv11.7), or wearing fabrics of
mixed sources (Lv18.22); that breakfast bacon eaten in a wool and linen
shirt is doubly sinful if one is to accept Biblical prohibitions!
It is very selective use of scripture which makes it condemn same-sex
relations while accepting in daily life practices much more frequently
For an account of the 13th century development of homophobia in
Christianity, an excellent source is CHRISTIANITY, SOCIAL TOLERANCE, AND
HOMOSEXUALITY / John Boswell. -- Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago
Press, 1980.