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What Does the Bible Say About..Lesbianism?

Where specifically and exactly does it say if lesbianism is forbidden in the bible in the Old Testament only? And what does it say? I am trying to prove to my child that lesbian sex is forbidden. I am Jewish.


All I can give you is an analysis of what the Torah specifically says. I am not an authority on halacha, although I am a student of Judaism. I would recommend that you also seek the advice of a rabbi who can tell you what Jewish doctrine is on this matter.

As many proponents of lesbianism have pointed out, there are no scriptures in Torah which specifically condemn, or even mention, same gender relations between women. Even the rabbis disagree on the issue.

The two principal passages condemning homosexuality in general are Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13. Some would say that these passages forbid Jews from keeping the practices of the nations surrounding them at the time. They use that argument to say that it was only for the time of the exodus and the kingdom, but doesn’t apply today. If the practices were wrong then, they are wrong today. They were wrong not because non-Jews practiced them, but because God hated them. Now let’s look at the passages.

Leviticus 20:13 specifically mentions a male having sexual relations with a male in the same way that he does with a female. It can be argued that this does not say anything about women lying with women. So it may not apply to your question.

Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” It can be argued that it makes no distinction between men and women. It might be interpreted to apply to both. That is, it may be interpreted to mean that sexual relations are to be between a man and a woman, and not any other combination.

The other passage that may have some bearing on the question is Genesis 2:24. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” This is the passage that specifies that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Presumably, then, the prerogatives of marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Since sexual relations are only supposed to occur between spouses, this would imply that same-gender relations are in violation of God’s intent and desire.