Is it a sin to be “gay”?

Is it a sin to be “gay”?

If applying the term “gay” to someone who is homosexual, then yes, it is a sin to be “gay” 1.

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
— Leviticus 18:22
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
— Leviticus 20:13
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
— Romans 1:26-27

Many will make the argument that they were “born this way” and they “can’t help it”. Well if you would like to make those arguments to me, you might be surprised to find that I agree with you wholeheartedly. I do believe that people are born “gay” just as surely as I am born “straight”. And in fact, I have the same sorts of sexual temptations, sinful desires, and thoughts as you. I, like 99% of all the male humans on the planet, struggle with sexual lust and sinful sexual desire. The difference, of course, is that my lust is for the opposite gender. But it is a sinful desire I was born to none-the-less.

The Bible teaches us that even our desires can be sinful.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience
— Colossians 3: 5-6
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
— Ephesians 2:3
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
— Galatians 5:17
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
— Romans 7:5

You see, many people make the mistake of thinking that sinning makes us sinners. But the fact is that we sin because we are sinners. Our natures are corrupt so that our very desires and thoughts can be and often are sinful. God has made it abundantly clear that in his eyes, homosexuality is a sinful desire (“burned in their lust one toward another”). It is not only wrong to engage in sexual intercourse with your own gender, but it is wrong even to have the desire. That is a result of our fallen and corrupted sinful nature. Just as it is wrong for me (and any other “straight” person) to desire one who is not my spouse.

The good news in all this is that God has provided a way for both straight and gay sinners to be saved and to have victory over these sins. He has sent His son to die for us, and He has sent His Spirit to indwell those who belong to Him.

What sparked this post was a friend announcing that he was “gay”. And as I did for him, if you are struggling with straight or gay sinful desires, then I also extend God’s call to you: repent, believe the gospel, and trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Turn from your wicked desires and allow God’s spirit to replace them.

This is sort of an unusual thing for me to post, but I felt the need to get it out after today’s events.


  1. I used to fight pretty vehemently over the use of the word gay. And to some extent I still prefer to use the term “homosexual” because “gay” still technically means happy. But words do change meaning over time. It must be admitted that in our society, “gay” has changed meaning and means homosexual. Language is for communicating and if it does not do that, it is of little use. So if “gay” no longer means what it used to, it is of little use. So I quit fighting over it.