Is same sex attraction a mortal sin?

If someone is gay and decides to live chaste, are they still sinning because they’re sexually attracted to the same gender?

This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says on the subject.

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection

For more about Chastity etc.
So the answer is yes if they live chastely there is no sin. In this fallen world it is a challenge for most people no matter who they are attracted to live a chaste life. But with God’s help it is of course doable.



For mortal sin there must be grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent.

While the inclination is in itself disordered - the fact that such inclination is there does not mean there has been any sin committed.

One is not to act (interiorly or exteriorly) according to such (sexual actions, dating a person of the same gender etc).

All of us have various “disordered inclinations” of various kinds that are temptations.

Me as a married man or anyone.

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.


To the OP: SSA, in and of itself, is not sinful. Acting on it is.

There is the useful distinction between having an inclination and acting on it. There is also the distinction between merely having an inclination, thoughts which come unbidden, and willfully entertaining those thoughts. Remember the Biblical principles of not coveting your neighbor’s wife/goods and Jesus’ reminder that a man who lusts in his heart has already committed adultery.

So it is important to maintain one’s chastity in both deed and thought. If one willfully entertains lustful thoughts (of any kind, the sexual attraction does not matter) then one can be committing sin, even if he has not touched or been near a man at all.

We all are attracted to something wrong in the course of our lives. We are all tempted. We may not want this attraction. Saint Paul, who experienced such a thing, said “I see in my members a law at war with the law of my mind” (Rom 7:23) Someone who is attracted to a sin in spite of himself and fights against this can win great favor with God, who will greatly approve of this.

I think this is what then Cardinal Ratzinger is referring to in his Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons…

An Objective Disorder

“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

This then would be the same for a heterosexual to look at pornography but not act upon those thoughts? Just looking at pornography would be sinful or lead to sin?

I thought that those were the teachings, that it was not a sin as long as you didn’t act on it, but I’ve struggled with same sex attraction for a long time now, and used to date a girl, but when we broke up, I promised myself I was going to be chaste from now on.

She’s recently contacted me, not to get back together or anything, but I’ve discovered I still have a lot of feelings for her, well, last night I was talking to a friend about it, and she started lecturing me “That’s a mortal sin! You need to stop thinking about her in that way.” And she got upset with me because I hadn’t told her I used to be with another girl(we broke up last August, and I became friends with this girl in April, I honestly didn’t think it was that big of a deal, since I’ve decided to be chaste.) I just wanted to make sure.

Nope… unless you have more than five patterns of bone china.

In order for a person to commit a sin, 1) the act must be wrong; 2) he must know it is wrong; and 3) it must be an act of the will. In other words, you have to choose to do it. Being sexually attracted to a member of the same gender is not sinful since it is not willful. Deliberate homosexual acts (fantasizing, homosexual acts, etc.) are sinful, because they are a willful act against God’s plan for our sexuality.

While you may have sexual or romantic feelings for members of the same gender, what matters is your response to it. Similarly, if a man has sexual desire for a woman, he is not sinning. What matters is his response to his desire for her, will he act according to God’s plan, or his own.

Being friends with this new girl is fine if you are keeping the relationship one of friendship and not a romantic one.

Hope this helps and I will pray for you.

God bless

No, being sexually attracted to the same sex is not a sin. However, if you continue to act upon it then that would be.

God Bless,

A New Evangelization
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No, not at all the same.

Looking at porn is an action, and it is yes objectively sinful. Simply to look is a sin itself, even if one does not proceed to masturbate.

What you might say is more similar would be say for a heterosexual man to walk down the street and happen to see a beautiful woman, and to have unwanted thoughts enter his head. The man can then either choose to indulge - consent to - those thoughts, at which point he starts to sin, or resist those thoughts. The thoughts themselves are not sinful until we consent to them; in the same way a homosexual person’s attractions are not sinful, unless they consent to them (and think or do things they shouldn’t).

Sinful and lead to more sins such as thoughts.

Pornography already is a grave matter…looking at such is already grave.


2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

(see also my first post).

A clarification.

Desires can yes already be sinful. What is meant here is “temptations” an “involuntary not consented desire that happens and tempts one but one does not consent”.

Oh, I’m not interested in the new girl at all, we’re just friends, she just got mad that I didn’t tell her this about myself before now.

But I am having a lot feelings for my ex…I’ve been missing her a lot for a few days, and the only reason I wouldn’t take her back is because I don’t want to upset God, there should probably be 1000 other reasons, but that’s the only one that means anything to me. She didn’t contact me to get back together(I don’t think) so that’s good. Thank you for your prayers.

you should pray. I’ve never been in a SS relation but I went through the same temptation. The person still contacts me until now, but I resist her because of chastity and obedience to God.I do really want to be friends with her, but I dont want to provoke this inclination–the person wont just give up. Pray–it’s just everything.:slight_smile:

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