Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Historical Perspective on "Gay Marriage"
By Guest: Matthew A. Roberts
on Jun 09, 06

In recent articles one is inclined to believe that people only oppose "gay marriage" on religious grounds. If you look at the history of homosexuality, however, you will find that people have had criticisms of homosexual behavior on other grounds as well.

Many of the arguments one hears against gay marriage are religious or, more specifically, Christian in nature. For example, Leviticas, 1 Corinthians and Romans all proscribe homosexual behavior. Furthermore, within the history of Christianity, from the early Church Fathers to later Protestants, there exists a continual condemnation of homosexual acts. In short, the Christian tradition for over 2,000 years has overwhelmingly deplored any sort of homosexual undertaking, and Western countries, being Christian in origin, have significantly been influenced by Christian morals on this subject.

The extent of the disapproval of homosexuality, however, limits itself not only to Christianity. We also find proscriptions against excessive homosexual behavior in Plato, the Emperor Augustus (who encouraged marriage among the upper class for procreation) and among other ancient writers as well. In fact, homosexual “relationships,” at least as we know them, did not even exist among the Greeks and Romans. Although we commonly find pederasty among the ancients, evidence of same-age relationships scarcely exists. Although they recognized homosexual acts as common among certain classes, specific homosexual acts (esp. those regarding passivity) were considered degrading for the upper classes. Furthermore, heterosexual marriage remained the unquestioned norm, and the ancients did not even consider “gay marriage” as an option.
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