Same-sex Marriages were Sanctioned by the Early Christian Church During an Era Commonly Called the Dark Ages

Annalee Newitz writes:

Gay marriage sounds like an ultra-contemporary idea. But almost twenty years ago, a Catholic scholar at Yale shocked the world by publishing a book packed with evidence that same-sex marriages were sanctioned by the early Christian Church during an era commonly called the Dark Ages.

John Boswell was a historian and religious Catholic who dedicated much of his scholarly life to studying the late Roman Empire and early Christian Church. Poring over legal and church documents from this era, he discovered something incredible. There were dozens of records of church ceremonies where two men were joined in unions that used the same rituals as heterosexual marriages. (He found almost no records of lesbian unions, which is probably an artifact of a culture which kept more records about the lives of men generally.) [...]

How could these marriages have been forgotten by history? One easy answer is that — as Boswell argues — the Church reframed the idea of marriage in the 13th century to be for the purposes of procreation. And this slammed the door on gay marriage. Church scholars and officials worked hard to suppress the history of these marriages in order to justify their new definition.

Full Story: io9: Gay marriage in the year 100 AD

1 Comment

  1. What this article fails to explain is the context: we’re talking of chaste unions between monks. Of course without context its easy to accuse the church of “reframing” marriage in the 13th century, but the actual truth is that at the time homosexuality was just another venial sin, not all that bad at all, that could be counterpointed by love (like extra martial sex of the heterosexual kind) but things changed when the west realized that the moors were very much into it. Working by a “if the moors do it its probably bad” policy, political reasons Made of homosexuality a bigger and bigger deal to westerners.

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