"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." These words occur solely in the Holiness Code of Leviticus, a ritual manual for Israel‘s priests.
Their meaning can only be fully appreciated in the historical and cultural context of the ancient Hebrew people. However, the original Hebrew is more complicated.
For example, Leviticus 20:13 uses two different words for "man/male", one of which was used under Greek law to refer to young males. Also the "as with woman" phrase actually means "lie lyings woman" and the only use of the plural "lyings" anywhere else in the Bible is in reference to rape.
You'll also notice that neither verse mentions gay women. There is no verse anywhere in the Hebrew Bible that says "a woman shall not lie with woman as with man." That proves homosexuality as we know it was not the issue being discussed or addressed.
I've also done some studying from Rabbis on the complicated breakdown of the original Hebrew, and it indicates there is much more going on there than just "gays are bad." Some Rabbis consider the prohibition to be against hermaphrodites.
I will also point out verses like this:
Leviticus 19:19 “‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.
The same people who quote Leviticus to condemn gays, ignore every other verse in Leviticus, so I view them all as raging hypocrites.
And not so surprisingly, no person has ever been charged with a "crime" related to homosexuality under Jewish law. The way Jewish law works makes it highly unlikely to be referring to any consensual, private relationship, same-sex or opposite-sex.
With that said, other theologians have concluded that Israel, in a unique place as the chosen people of one GOD, was to avoid the practices of other peoples. The ban on men sleeping with men (if that is actually what this passage is about) would be for the purpose of lineage of "GOD'S Chosen People".
Hebrew religion, characterized by the revelation of one God, stood in continuous tension with the religion of the surrounding Canaanites who worshipped the multiple gods of fertility cults. Canaanite idol worship, which featured female and male cult prostitution as noted (Deuteronomy 23:17), repeatedly compromised Israel‘s loyalty to GOD.
The Hebrew word for a male cult prostitute, qadesh, is mistranslated "sodomite" in some versions of the Bible. When a ‘sodomite’ was merely the resident of Sodom, just as a Moabite is the resident of Moab.
So what exactly is an "Abomination"?
An abomination, biblically, is that which GOD found detestable because it was unclean, disloyal, or unjust. Several Hebrew words were so translated, and the one found in Leviticus, toevah, is usually associated with idolatry, as in Ezekiel, where it occurs numerous times.
Given the strong association of toevah with idolatry and the Canaanite religious practice of cult prostitution, the use of toevah regarding male same-sex acts in Leviticus calls into question any conclusion that such condemnation also applies to same-sex attracted persons or same-sex relationships. It's just not there.
Rituals and Rules found in the Old Testament were given to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the religion and culture of Israel. But, as stated in Galatians 3:22-25... By faith we live in Jesus The Christ, not in Leviticus.
To be sure, ethical concerns apply to all cultures and peoples in every age. Such concerns were ultimately reflected by Jesus The Christ, who said nothing about same-sex attraction or relations, but a great deal about Love, Justice, Mercy and Faith.
The only ones that are even capable of making any argument of this are those who observe The Torah. And even then, the context of that passage would have to be questioned as it has also been said by theologians that it could also refer to men "acting like" or "taking on the role of" a woman during sexual intercourse. That would definitely speak into what we see happening in the world today where men want to be women and women want to be men.
The Scriptures have been "translated" numerous times. So much so that it is absolutely impossible to state what the Scripture says without having the original tablets and then attempting to translate them. And can we even do that wholeheartedly and honestly? No.