David Plotz - Slate Magazine:
"Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence."
A lot of ink, and probably some blood, has been spilled about the meaning of this verse. I can't count the number of times I've heard religious conservatives cite it in their condemnation of homosexuality. On the flip side, I once listened to my rabbi hold forth about the word abhorrence (sometimes translated as 'abomination')—he argued that it actually had a much milder meaning than, well, 'abhorrence.' Despite his impassioned argument, I don't think gay-rights supporters are going to get very far in trying to minimize or deny the Bible's opposition to homosexuality. There is no Brokeback Mount Sinai. This verse, plus a similar verse in Chapter 20 mandating death for gay sex between men, —the Bible is crystal clear about male homosexuality. (Lesbian sex isn't mentioned in the Torah.) So, how should Bible-loving gay-rights supporters rebut Leviticus 18:22? A stronger argument, perhaps, is to point out all the other things the Bible is equally clear about: The death penalty for gay sex, yes—but also the death penalty for cursing your parents, the death penalty for violating Sabbath, exile for sex with a menstruating woman, etc. …
Turn the Bible-quoting back on the social conservatives: Why do they fixate on the abhorrent gay sex and not the abhorrent menstrual sex, or parent cursing, or Sabbath-violating?