Homosex advocates often try to argue their case theologically. One of the most popular arguments is based on the love of God “If God is love,” they ask, “why would He deny me the opportunity to love and be loved?” While this is emotionally compelling, it is not theologically or logically compelling. Three points should be made in response. First, even if we find it difficult to reconcile God’s desire for us to give and receive love with God’s prohibition against homosex, the fact remains that He has specifically and clearly prohibited us from engaging in homosex.
Secondly, why think homosex is truly loving? If homosex results in physical, emotional, and spiritual degradation, then engaging in homosex is anything but loving.
Thirdly, this argument proves too much. If God’s loving nature means He must permit or endorse sexual behaviors we find “loving” or have a natural desire to participate in, then on what basis could a God of love prohibit pedophilia and adultery? Couldn’t the pedophile ask why a loving God would deny him the opportunity to love and be loved? Couldn’t the adulterer ask why God would deny him the opportunity to love more than one wife? Yes. If God could deny them the love they seek by proscribing the behavior in which they seek to find love, then on what basis must God allow homosex?
Finally, the argument confuses love with eroticism. Prohibiting someone from engaging in certain sexual behaviors is not a denial of love in general, but a specific form of love: erotic love. While an individual with a homosexual orientation is prohibited from experiencing erotic love, s/he is not denied the experience of giving and receiving love. Such individuals have given and received love from their family and friends. Indeed, the love they have received from God is of the non-erotic sort!
The fifth and final point is related to the fourth. Love and sex are related, but distinct. We are able to love individuals without having sex with them. Think of a heterosexual couple who practices abstinence before marriage. Are they incapable of giving and receiving love from each other until they consummate their marriage? Clearly not! Or consider those who—for whatever reason—are incapable of engaging in sexual activity with their spouse. Are they incapable of experiencing love? Clearly not! It does not follow, then, that a God who proscribes homosex is a God who denies people the experience of loving and being loved.