Contrary to common belief, neither the Bible nor the Watchtower condemns homosexuality; however, they do condemn the practice of fornication. Homosexuality is same sex attraction whether such attraction is acted upon or not. Leviticus 20:13 describes a man having sexual relations with a man, or the act of fornication. In a similar vein, the Bible condemns the practice of drunkenness as opposed to alcoholism, which is an unnatural desire for alcohol. Many alcoholics abstain from practicing drunkenness, and many homosexuals abstain from practicing fornication. The Bible makes a distinction between an inclination toward sin and the sinful act.
Over the years, the Watchtower published letters from elders, ministerial servants and other Witnesses in good standing who admitted having to strenuously fight their homosexual urges, most of whom were married to women, which begs the question, Do heterosexuals commonly have to fight homosexual urges?
In 1983, the Watchtower explained that the term homosexual could appropriately be applied to those who felt same sex attraction even if they never acted on such feelings. Of course, many ignorant elders held to the view that a homosexual was only one practicing homosexual fornication. Yet, a person who is sexually attracted to the opposite sex is considered heterosexual even if, for whatever reason, one chooses to remain single and celibate. So, a man once told a Witness that he would love to be a JW but he was homosexual and homosexuals could not become JWs. The Witness told the man that he might be surprised how many Witnesses are homosexual.
Therefore, it is appropriate to acknowledge that many Witnesses are homosexuals, just as many Witnesses are unmarried heterosexuals who choose to remain celibate. I knew a 50-year old Circuit Overseer who had never been married. When my local elders rejected a letter from the Branch supporting the viewpoint expressed above, that CO admitted to me in private that he was a celibate homosexual and he had never married because he was not sexually attracted to women.
I urge anyone who disagrees with these observations to view the excellent British film, "Victim," starring Dirk Bogarde, which can be viewed on YouTube. An attorney with political ambitions is gay, yet married to the woman he loves. He plans to draw out and expose someone who is blackmailing homosexuals throughout the city. (Prior to 1960, homosexuals in Britain were imprisoned.) In so doing, he becomes a victim of the blackmailer. In a pivotal scene, he is advised by a group of victims to simply pay the blackmailer. Explaining why he is the one best qualified to draw out and prosecute the blackmailer, he tells the group, "I share your instincts, but I have never acted on them!"
It is a very enlightening film and well illustrates the Watchtower's current view of homosexuality. I hasten to add that this is one of very few Watchtower teachings with which I remain in agreement.