Compare Religious Views on Homosexuality


The following chart compares the views of homosexuality in world religions, past and present, in reagrd to homosexual orientation and homosexual relations.

Note that there is no column on how homosexuals ought to be treated - this is because the world religions are almost unanimous in encouraging acceptance, love, equal treatment, and support for gays and lesbians regardless of their views on homosexuality. Many also stress that even if homosexuality is regarded as a sin or negative act, it should not be singled out as though it is worse than other sins.

 Homosexual OrientationHomosexual Activity
Buddhism Varies: Unnatural (Dalai Lama), a karmic punishment (SE Asian countries), an alternative. Not generally condemned in itself. Unlawful for monks, who must be celibate regardless of orientation. For other Buddhists, "sexual misconduct" is prohibited under the Third Precept, which depends on the circumstances and the results.
Christianity Not generally considered sinful in itself, though some see it as a purposeful perversion. Some accept it as a natural alternative, while others regard it as a non-chosen disorder akin to alcoholism. Traditionally considered sinful. Many Christians and denominations continue to uphold this belief, while others have reconsidered it or in the process of doing so.
Greco-Roman Religion No conception of "homosexuality" versus "heterosexualty." Same-sex desires not categorized separately from other sexual desires. In Ancient Greece and the Roman Republic, not generally condemned and often idealized and romanticized. But the social status of the partners and the playing of the passive role were important considerations. In the Roman Empire, Empire, in which male prostitution and pederasty were illegal and passive partners in adult relationships lost many civil rights.
Hinduism Not generally condemned in itself. Some ancient texts and temples depict it as one of many sexual inclinations, while Vedanta discourages homosexual desires as lustful and/or distracting. Condemned by most Hindu cultures, though not often for religious reasons. The teachings of Vedanta, which emphasize liberation from the material world to the spiritual, allow only heterosexual sex, within marriage and for purposes of procreation.
Islam Not generally condemned. Sinful and punishable under Islamic law.
 Homosexual OrientationHomosexual Activity
Jehovah's Witnesses Not necessarily sinful. Sinful. Those with homosexual inclinations must abstain from all homosexual behavior.
Judaism Orthodox: Condemned as rebellion against God. Conservative: Neither condemned nor affirmed. Reform: Generally accepted as an alternative. Orthodox: Strongly condemned. Conservative: Violation of Jewish law, disqualifies from Jewish marriage and religious leadership. Reform: Approved in context of committed relationship; civil marriage supported, but generally not religious marriage.
Mormonism Called "same-gender attraction." Less serious than homosexual acts, but should be resisted. Considered a serious sin. Heterosexual marriage is required for entry into the most desirable forms of afterlife.
New Age Accepted as alternative. Accepted, within bounds of general ethics.
Sikhism Generally considered a manifestation of Lust, one of the "Five Thieves" or vices. A minority consider it an acceptable alternative. Generally condemned in light of its association with Lust and the value of family life. But a minority believe the Sikh value of universal equality supports acceptance of homosexual relations.
 Homosexual OrientationHomosexual Activity
Wicca Accepted as alternative. Accepted, within bounds of general ethics.