There's a common tactic among pro-homosexual activists (some of whom claim to be Christians) that claims the sin for which the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed was not homosexuality. Some go as far as to assert that homosexuality had nothing to do with the God's judgment but that they were destroyed due to inhospitality. Well, I'd agree with that to a point: group-rape of strangers is hardly hospitable. But it is true that homosexuality was not the only reason the towns were judged.
However, in order to gain the fullest possible picture of why it happened, we must examine every passage in the Bible that says something about Sodom and Gomorrah. Let's begin with the primary reference...
19 The two angels entered Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting at Sodom’s gate. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them. He bowed with his face to the ground 2 and said, “My lords, turn aside to your servant’s house, wash your feet, and spend the night. Then you can get up early and go on your way.”
“No,” they said. “We would rather spend the night in the square.”
3 But he urged them so strongly that they followed him and went into his house. He prepared a feast and baked unleavened bread for them, and they ate.
4 Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house. 5 They called out to Lot and said, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
6 Lot went out to them at the entrance and shut the door behind him. 7 He said, “Don’t do this evil, my brothers. 8 Look, I’ve got two daughters who haven’t had sexual relations with a man. I’ll bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want to them. However, don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the protection of my roof.”
9 “Get out of the way!” they said, adding, “This one came here as a foreigner, but he’s acting like a judge! Now we’ll do more harm to you than to them.” They put pressure on Lot and came up to break down the door. 10 But the angels reached out, brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the entrance of the house, both young and old, with a blinding light so that they were unable to find the entrance.
A few things to note here. First, Lot knew exactly what the Sodomites were planning. He called it "evil" and literally begged them not to do it. Second, the men of Sodom were so taken with the idea of raping the two visitors that they not only rejected Lot's awful, panicked offer of his own daughters to satisfy their lust but when he resisted further they threatened to do the same and worse to Lot himself. Third, note well that EVERY MAN IN TOWN, young men and old men, had eagerly turned out to participate in the rape. See a similar account in Judges 19:16-24.
All its soil will be a burning waste of sulfur and salt, unsown, producing nothing, with no plant growing on it, just like the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord demolished in His fierce anger.
The Lord was so angry with Sodom and Gomorrah that He utterly destroyed them...due to inhospitality? No.
28 Israel is a nation lacking sense with no understanding at all. 29 If only they were wise, they would figure it out; they would understand their fate. 30 How could one man pursue a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up? 31 But their “rock” is not like our Rock; even our enemies concede. 32 For their vine is from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are poisonous; their clusters are bitter. 33 Their wine is serpents’ venom, the deadly poison of cobras.
God equates apostate Israel with Sodom and Gomorrah using the vivid picture of deadly snakes.
The look on their faces testifies against them, and like Sodom, they flaunt their sin. They do not conceal it. Woe to them, for they have brought evil on themselves.
Israel was now openly flaunting its sins without the slightest shame, just as modern day homosexual pride parades do.
Among the prophets of Jerusalem also I saw a horrible thing: They commit adultery and walk in lies. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, and none turns his back on evil. They are all like Sodom to Me; Jerusalem’s residents are like Gomorrah.
Israel is again compared to Sodom and Gomorrah in that they committed adultery, had a habit of lying and promoted and loved evil...all of which broke the Law given them through Moses.
48 “As I live”—the declaration of the Lord God—“your sister Sodom and her daughters have not behaved as you and your daughters have. 49 Now this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, plenty of food, and comfortable security, but didn’t support the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before Me, so I removed them when I saw this. 51 But Samaria did not commit even half your sins. You have multiplied your detestable practices beyond theirs and made your sisters appear righteous by all the detestable things you have committed. 52 You must also bear your disgrace, since you have been an advocate for your sisters. For they appear more righteous than you because of your sins, which you committed more abhorrently than they did. So you also, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, since you have made your sisters appear righteous.
Israel at this point had actually surpassed Sodom in wickness. Among the sins compared to Sodom's: pride, which the Lord hates; arrogance in their wealth and its false sense of security; and certain practices which God called "detestable" TWICE [Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13]) without any mitigating circumstances nor stipulations.
But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all.
As the Genesis account records, Christ reminds His listeners that God utterly destroyed Sodom with fire and brimstone.
2 Peter 2:6
and if He reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes and condemned them to ruin, making them an example to those who were going to be ungodly
God intended Sodom and Gomorrah to serve as a perpetual example and warning.
In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them committed sexual immorality and practiced perversions, just as angels did, and serve as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
Sodom and Gomorrah are again described as not merely sexually immoral but practicing perversion - which is the very definition of homosexuality - and are again said to serve as God's warning against sin.
CONCLUSION: Sodom and Gomorrah were utterly wicked towns whose inhabitants engaged in all manner of sins, among which widespread homosexuality was only one among many. However, the notoriety of Sodom is due to the fact that its men were so given over to their perversion that they eagerly engaged in the homosexual gang-rape of strangers.
The fact remains, however, that ALL homosexuality without regard to the context in which it is practiced (including "mere" consensual homosexuality) is invariably condemned by God throughout Scripture as detestable and worthy of judgment unless, as 1 Cor 6 teaches, it is repented of:
Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God's kingdom? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolators, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people or swindlers will inherit God's kingdom. AND SOME OF YOU WERE LIKE THIS. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.