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Gay Marriage Has Ancient Precedents August 27, 2007

Posted by Michael in Ducks, History.

Um, yes. So what?

Civil unions between male couples existed around 600 years ago in medieval Europe, a historian now says.Historical evidence, including legal documents and gravesites, can be interpreted as supporting the prevalence of homosexual relationships hundreds of years ago, said Allan Tulchin of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

If accurate, the results indicate socially sanctioned same-sex unions are nothing new, nor were they taboo in the past.

“Western family structures have been much more varied than many people today seem to realize,” Tulchin writes in the September issue of the Journal of Modern History. “And Western legal systems have in the past made provisions for a variety of household structures.”

For example, he found legal contracts from late medieval France that referred to the term “affrèrement,” roughly translated as brotherment. Similar contracts existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe, Tulchin said.

Gay Unions Sanctioned in Medieval Europe

Actually, gay relationships were socially acceptable at much earlier stages of history. I read about this in my Bible — the part about Sodom and Gomorrah.

There’s no doubt in my mind that gay unions have been sanctioned at various places and times throughout human history.

So what? All kinds of human behavior has been sanctioned   in the course of our history, from the transcendent to the utterly aberrant. If this research is intended to contribute to the ongoing debate about gay marriage, I’m thinking it doesn’t add much.


1. mklasing - August 27, 2007

You are so right. There are lots of things that were sanctioned in the past. I’ve compiled a short list:

1. Slavery
2. Extermination of Jews
3. Opium Trades
4. Torture
5. Spanish Inquisition
6. Cannibalism
7. The Carol Burnett Show

Okay-so maybe we should bring back #7–it was awesome.


2. Wickedpinto - August 27, 2007

I don’t oppose gay unions, however, the tactics used by the gay activists are basely offensive, as is the exploitive use of guilt and offense upon non-gays, means that not only are too many not ready for assimilation, but rather indifferent to it.

In most cases gay unions are argued by multi-partnered gays, who are so extreme in their behavior that they want to NOT be allowed so that they have a verifiable cause for their affrontery.

A loving couple who stay a loving couple is fine by me, but the tactics of the gay extremists proves that they aren’t actually interested in a marriage like union, when they cast off all of the things that make marriage marriage, while trying to keep the name.

You can polish a turd to a silvery shining gleam, it’s still a turd.

3. Michael - August 27, 2007

7. The Carol Burnett Show

Okay-so maybe we should bring back #7–it was awesome.

Indeed it was. I liked the way she pulled her ear at the end of every show, as a little message to her husband.

4. Wickedpinto - August 27, 2007

I thought it was her mother.

5. Michael - August 27, 2007

Whatever. She pulled her ear and it was cute.

6. Retired Geezer - August 27, 2007

She was one of the ‘Nice’ people I worked. So was Bernadette Peters.

Helen Reddy… not so much.

7. Wickedpinto - August 27, 2007

Did you ever see bernadette peters naked?
did you get pic’s?
Has steve done nude artsy images of her?

She was HOT! A cupie doll, with just the right cupie voice.


Bernadette and Madeline were the great hot chicks of classic comedy.

8. sandy burger - August 28, 2007

the part about Sodom and Gomorrah.

Is that story really even about gays, though?

All I remember about it is that a crowd wanted to rape and/or murder a couple of undercover angels, so Lott, being a giver, offered the crowd his daughter instead, but that wasn’t enough for them, and then all hell broke loose and God iced the place, Lott’s wife taking some friendly fire in the process.

I saw it mainly as part of a lesson on hospitality. Some folks treated these undercover angels well, and were rewarded, while others tried to gang-rape and/or murder them, and were punished.

9. Wickedpinto - August 28, 2007

The angels test ONLY the children of abraham, who were mentioned, and gave safe passage, with conditions, to only Lott’s family.

It was FOR lott that the angels were even present, and Lot recognized the angels because of his fate.

The angels didn’t care if their were other good people present, they only arrived to serve lot and rescue them.

10. Wickedpinto - August 28, 2007

The old testament is all about godly jockhood.

If you worship the god of abraham, then you are the cool kid, if you don’t you are a nerd who deserves to die.

Sorry, thats a reasonable conteporization of stories. Even exodus is packed with the same thing. “my god” moses said, indicating that there is not “one true god” but rather one greater god, who still tolerated others claiming godhead.

11. Retired Geezer - August 28, 2007

Is that story really even about gays, though?

I know the Movie version had some San Francisco types. I think I even saw inflated scrotum man.

12. Wickedpinto - August 28, 2007


13. Mrs. Peel - August 28, 2007

It’s Lot, not Lott, and yeah, I think the story is a bit more about doing unto others than it is about teh ghey. It is true, however, that the men of the towns were engaging in homosexual relationships. Michael’s only point is that those relationships were considered acceptable, not that they form the centerpiece of the “moral of the story,” as it were.

14. Lot's wife - August 28, 2007

Don’t look back!

15. S. Weasel - August 28, 2007

It seems EXTREMELY unlikely that 14th C Europe would in any way countenance legal homosexual unions. And, indeed, the article says these contracts mostly covered brothers…like, actual siblings. Unmarried adult siblings were a fairly common type of household until pretty recently; it’s tough to make it on your own. Better to band together and pool resources.

I suppose similar unions between unrelated persons might sometimes have been sexual, but you can bet they hid it from the townspeople.

Of course, the documents they cite were from France.

16. geoff - August 28, 2007

I liked this line:

The ins-and-outs of the medieval relationships are tricky at best to figure out.

Then there was this bit of nonsense.

“I suspect that some of these relationships were sexual, while others may not have been,” Tulchin said. “It is impossible to prove either way and probably also somewhat irrelevant to understanding their way of thinking. They loved each other, and the community accepted that.

He has no idea as to whether “they loved each other,” in fact his entire thesis is based solely on the existence of these contracts. Not very objective – more like wishful thinking.

17. BrewFan - August 28, 2007

If you all could stop your lazy thinking for just one minute you’d realize the article was a beautiful description of the ancient beginnings of the Lutheran clergy.

[*evil grin*]

18. mklasing - August 28, 2007

That was brutal BrewFan–how did we get off on this anyway–I thought the article was about Carol Burnett. In any event, the ear pulling thing was cute and I agree Bernadette Peters was/is great looking. The voice might get annoying after a while though.

One other form of behavior that was sanctioned in the past (according the the college football hall of fame)–was using a human skull to play an ancient version of football.


19. skinbad - August 28, 2007

U.S. soldiers still do that in Iraq. Just ask that Beauchamp fella.

20. compos mentis - August 28, 2007

If you all could stop your lazy thinking for just one minute you’d realize the article was a beautiful description of the ancient beginnings of the Lutheran clergy.


21. Michael - August 28, 2007

Just keep laughing. Oh yes. I bet that joke will keep you amused in the reeducation camps during the Lutheran Millennium™.

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