Question: “Is same-sex attraction a sin?”
Answer: Same-sex attraction is a physical attraction to a person of the same gender. That is, when men are physically attracted to other men or when women are attracted to other women, then they are experiencing same-sex attraction. This is a homosexual attraction, and homosexual behavior is a topic the Bible is very clear about.
Homosexuality is often lumped in with other sexual immoralities such as adultery and lust (Genesis 19:1–13; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9), so it is important to note that homosexuality is no worse (or better) than any other sin. God hates all sin—no matter what it is. Homosexuality is simply one of the many things listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 that will keep a person from the kingdom of God.
The Bible says that people become homosexuals because of sin (Romans 1:24–27) and, in the end, being homosexual is their own choice. You can’t control being naturally attracted to a person, but you can control what you do with those feelings (1 Peter 1:5–8).
Whether a physical attraction is toward the opposite sex or the same sex, 1 Thessalonians 4:3–5 still applies: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” A same-sex attraction could lead to the sin of lust or homosexuality. Likewise, a heterosexual attraction could lead to the sin of lust or adultery. Having an attraction and even being tempted is not a sin; yielding to that temptation is.
That said, God’s forgiveness is available to everyone who desires it (John 3:16–21). The repentant homosexual, adulterer, idol worshipper, murderer, or thief is welcome to come before God to receive His grace and mercy. God also promises to provide strength for victory over sin, including homosexuality, to all those who will believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:13).
The Bible is clear that children of God should think and act differently from the world, especially when the world’s standards go against what God has commanded in the Bible. Many in the world accept same-sex attraction and homosexuality as a social norm, but a Christian’s standards for life should come from the Bible, not conventional wisdom (2 Timothy 3:16–17). As Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”