Posts tagged: history of gay marriage

History of Gay Marriage

Gay marriage has always been a controversial subject. In order to determine the legality of such marriage, it is vital that the history of gay marriage be considered. However, the individual and societal interpretations of accepted standards tend to heighten the tension that surrounds the subject of gay marriage.

Studies revealed that relationships between the same sexes have enjoyed freedom, especially in greater parts of Egypt and Mesopotamia. There was even a tomb for a gay couple which means that the kingdom recognized such union. However, such practice was more common in Mesopotamia. The Code of Hammurabi did not restrict same-sex marriage although marriages were well-regulated during such time.

There were cited examples of gay marriages during the classical antiquity. Even Plato was able to describe homosexual attractions in his work entitled ‘Symposium’. In Greek artworks, same-sex interactions were also depicted with equal status as men-women relationships. However, not all states or countries approved of such relationships or rituals.

It is said that gay marriage was not about gender, and was more of character excellence, beauty, and love. Recorded history of gay marriage has also revealed that homosexual marriages had a cultural and religious basis. In most cultures, homosexual relationships were mostly covert. In the social customs of the Romans, marriage between men was common and this existed even in the high society. During that time, women had limited freedom; hence, same-sex unions among females were rare.

As Christianity became popular in Rome, the attitude towards gay marriage and relationships also changed. During the 4th century, a law was passed to punish anyone who entered into gay marriage.

History of Gay Marriage
History of Gay Marriage

Eastern religions were neutral in the view of gay marriage. For instance, homosexuality is not restricted by the Hindu and is seen as perversion. Japanese Buddhism praises homosexuality because of its mystery. In fact, in the modern times, Japan does not have any political or religious limitations when it comes to homosexual behavior. In China, Tibet, and other Buddhist countries in Asia, homosexuality is not a great issue.

The early history of gay marriage was prevalent in North and South America, Polynesia, and New Guinea, which was proven by European encounters. The same relationships were also documented in parts of Africa. By the 13th century, laws were passed to condemn unnatural behavior and relationships. This continued until the 19th century wherein homosexuality was treated as a disease. The first country to allow same-sex marriage was Denmark, followed by Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, and Belgium. By 2005, Canada, Germany, France, and Spain also recognized gay marriage but with varying degrees.


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