Two verses in Leviticus Leviticus and Leviticus express unequivocal condemnation of male homosexual sex although it is not clear whether what is referred to is intercourse or all sexual acts between men. As evident by its language, the biblical prohibition does not extend to female homosexual acts, though later commentators disapproved of lesbianism. One rabbinic source associates female homosexuality with the activities of the Egyptians and Canaanites, from which the Jews are supposed to abstain. Other authorities describe lesbianism as lewd or promiscuous, but do not consider it a capital offense. The Leviticus verses also imply that it is the act of homosexual sex, not the homosexual person, that is abhorred. Though the terminology seems callous, the same word is used in Deuteronomy in reference to forbidden animals.
Judaism and Sex: Questions and Answers
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In Jewish law , sex is not considered shameful, sinful or obscene. Sex is not thought of as a necessary evil for the sole purpose of procreation. Although sexual desire comes from the yetzer ra the evil impulse , it is no more evil than hunger or thirst, which also come from the yetzer ra. Like hunger, thirst or other basic instincts, sexual desire must be controlled and channeled, satisfied at the proper time, place and manner. But when sexual desire is satisfied between a husband and wife at the proper time, out of mutual love and desire, sex is a mitzvah. Sex is permissible only within the context of a marriage.
The Jewish Chronicle
Judaism is generally very positive about sex, regarding it as a divine gift and a holy obligation — both for the purposes of procreation and for pleasure and intimacy. The Talmud specifies not merely that a husband is required to be intimate with his wife, but sources also indicate that he is obliged to sexually satisfy her. Instead, sexual activity is highly circumscribed in Jewish tradition, as the rabbis of the Talmud sought to use the human libido as a tool for increasing the population and strengthening marriage.
Same-sex marriage in Judaism has been a subject of debate within Jewish denominations. The traditional view among Jews is to regard same-sex relationships as categorically forbidden by the Torah. As the issue of same-sex marriage has broached the forefront of social and political consciousness in the United States over the past few years, it has also become more prevalent in the Jewish community as well. Certain branches of Judaism that had until recently been less open to gay rights have made organizational changes on the issues. Rabbi Steven Greenberg is an openly gay rabbi who is leading the charge among open-minded and traditionally-observant Jews around the world.