Homosexual marriages took place in the ancient world—far more frequently and in greater numbers than religious reactionaries wish or allow themselves to admit. While the Bible is overwhelming with stories of incest, polygamy, wife-selling, and sexual irregularities among heterosexuals, there are few such declamations against same-sex couples that do exist (not just the accounts of David with Jonathan 2 Samuel 1:26: צַר־לִי עָלֶיךָ אָחִי יְהֹונָתָן נָעַמְתָּ לִּי מְאֹד נִפְלְאַתָה אַהֲבָתְךָ לִי מֵאַהֲבַת נָשִׁים׃).
Same-sex marriages have occurred in all cultures, at all times, and with support from various people and governments. They have been celebrated with ceremonies, family and public congratulations, toasts with wine and beer, and showers of gifts both practical and pleasurable.
We have tomb paintings from the days of the pharaohs where same-sex couples’s co-habitation was celebrated as with the union of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep as found in the depiction of the two men in a warm embrace sharing a kiss in their tomb, known as the Tomb of the Two Hairdressers, in the necropolis at Saqqara, south of Cairo. There was no condemnation of same-sex marriages anywhere in the ancient Middle East until the invasion of the Akaddian mercenaries, known as the Apiru/Abiru. None of the recorded laws of Mesopotamia, including the Code of Hammurabi (on-line), contain restrictions against same-sex unions despite the fact that marriages are otherwise well-regulated. There were no laws, no prescriptions, no injunctions that marriage was for the purpose of procreation (as is found in Roman regulations) and “replenishing the earth”—although later Hebrews, distant in time and knowledge from the original text, would use that concept in declaring that people were to
“multiply”—but not physically or sexually, but rather mentally and intellectually, as multiplication is not a part of any vocabulary until the middle of the Middle Ages (around the eleventh century, coming from India and the mathematics invented by a subcontinent respected mathematician by the name of Brahmagupta (598-670 CE) but found its origins in ancient Egypt.
The word used (multiply) that has been transmogrified into multiply actually was “increase” and meant to increase in wisdom and knowledge (Genesis 9:7: וְאַתֶּם פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ שִׁרְצוּ בָאָרֶץ וּרְבוּ־בָהּ׃ ס) where multiply in the original tongue is רָבָה and is the verb rahab from the original Assyrian rabû, meaning to become great (מִן) and compare things with a longing for wisdom, as in 1 Kings 5:10-12 (וַיְהִי חִירֹום נֹתֵן לִשְׁלֹמֹה עֲצֵי אֲרָזִים וַעֲצֵי בְרֹושִׁים כָּל־חֶפְצֹו׃ 11 וּשְׁלֹמֹה נָתַן לְחִירָם עֶשְׂרִים אֶלֶף כֹּר חִטִּים מַכֹּלֶת לְבֵיתֹו וְעֶשְׂרִים כֹּר שֶׁמֶן כָּתִית כֹּה־יִתֵּן שְׁלֹמֹה לְחִירָם שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה׃ ף 12 וַיהוָה נָתַן חָכְמָה לִשְׁלֹמֹה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר־לֹו וַיְהִי שָׁלֹם בֵּין חִירָם וּבֵין שְׁלֹמֹה וַיִּכְרְתוּ בְרִית שְׁנֵיהֶם׃) and knowledge as in Daniel 12:4 where we read the word הַדָּֽעַת׃.
While Roman law is almost altogether lacking in formal processes for legal requirements, the fact that there are numerous mentions of same-sex weddings (although most appear as objects of ridicule and sport), there can be no doubt that they were common, and noted by Martial:
The only challenge seen to same-sex marriage was that the two people of the same gender who married could not have babies and thus continue their lineage. There is no record that I am aware of where same-sex couples adopted children, but there are references to children raised by same-sex people who have “settled into a single life”.
In the Greek world of antiquity, the same is true for same-sex relationships as it was in ancient Egypt. Plato’s Symposium describes instances of homosexual attraction and same-sex relationships in ancient Greece without condemnation. Over the centuries, Greece experienced an evolving cultural-religious basis for homosexual love and same-sex relationships based on ancient Greek theology.
In ancient Greek theological works it is common to read about “same-sex exploits” by gods as high-ranking as Zeus who loved Ganymede. While modern artists focus more on Ganymede being a child, in reality he was a young man, as classical artists depicted.
The epics of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, contain poetic passages that underscore homoerotic love between the military leaders of the Greek city states and others (Dynes, Wayne R. and Stephen Donaldson. 1992. Homosexuality in the Ancient World. New York, NY: Garland; Ishay, Micheline R. 2004. The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press). In the Iliad the most poignant quasi-erotic story is the love felt by Patroclus, friend and lover to Achilles whose death unleashes Achilles’ wrath on Hector (Plato, Symposium 179-180; ref. Thornton, Bruce S. (1997). Eros: the Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 195-196).
There are numerous homosexual allusions in Homer’s Odyssey, as when Odysseus blinds Cyclops in his one eye with a lance, and then sneaks away with his men by riding underneath the Cyclops’ own rams (Homer, Odysseus, Book 9). The point is made that Odysseus selected the largest ram owned by the Cyclops for his journey from the cave.
Roman statesman Cicero documented legal rights of an individual within a same-sex marriage, but was later opposed to same-sex pursuits (Cicero, 1966, Tusculan Disputations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press , 407-415; to chase after someone defied conventions where mutual interest that was pleasant and unbounded by restrictions more acceptable—becoming the foundation for Etienne Montaigne’s work and his own pursuit of same-sex love; Badhwar, Neera K. “Friendship and Sexuality” in Soble, Alan (Ed., 2006). Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Sex.New York, NY: Greenwood Publishing Group). Female same-sex unions were less common—or at least there is a paucity of records, but this is because women enjoyed less freedom in their economic and social endeavors.
No prescribed ceremonies or formalities of any kind were legally necessary in order to create a valid Roman marriage. First, the government did not have any sort of licensing procedure, nor did it even provide a means for registering marriages. In principle, therefore, marriage was largely a private arrangement occurring outside the purview of state authority, although, of course, the government reserved the right to declare supposed marriages null and void after the fact. Second, the Roman jurists and emperors alike also emphasize that no formality or marriage ceremony of any kind was required for a legal marriage. Indeed, not even cohabitation or sexual consummation was required (Eskridge, William N., Jr. “Symposium on Sexual Orientation and the Law.” Virginia Law Review. Vol 79.7 (October 1993): 1419-1513).
Such ceremonies were common as well in China and the area formerly known as Indochina and meet with approval within the community (Hinsch, Bret (1990). Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China. Reed Business Information, pp. 24-25). Same-sex marriages were equally blessed in ancient India and throughout the initial development of Hinduism, where the “union of two hearts” was far more important to the gods than the gender or sexual act (Vanita, Ruth. “‘Wedding of Two Souls’: Same-Sex Marriage and Hindu Traditions.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. Vol 20.2 (Fall 2004): 119-135.)
Same-sex marriages in the Roman world were not officially declared illegal (with the realization that no children could be born to same-sex couples) until 342 CE/AD when the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans issued a law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th.9.7.3) prohibiting same-sex marriage in Rome and ordering execution for those so married. While the law was issued and signed, there are records that many civic leaders chose to ignore it, seeing it as a posturing to get the emerging church’s blessing and its force of arms and call for religious chaos as witnessed in the open defiance of the law and the strangle-hold of the Roman Catholic Church same-when two men, Pedro Díaz and Muño Vandilaz.
Díaz and Vandilaz married in the Galician municipality of Rairiz de Veiga in Spain on 16 April 1061. This fact is attested to by historic documents describing the official church wedding by a Roman Catholic priest (the documents were found at Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova (for a discussion, in Spanish read here).
Diaz and Vandilaz were not alone in seeking and obtaining a marriage within the Roman Catholic Church. Ancient to medieval Church liturgical documents record ceremonies called “Office of Same-Sex Union” (10th and 11th centuries) and “Order for Uniting Two Men” (11th and 12th centuries) are indicative of same-sex marriage. This lasted until the fourteenth century in Serbia and Slovenia.
The Dominican missionary and Prior, Jacques Goar (1601-1653), includes such ceremonies in a printed collection of Greek Orthodox prayer books, Euchologion Sive Rituale Graecorum Complectens Ritus Et Ordines Divinae Liturgiae (Paris, 1667). We find the same sacramental blessing in the sixteenth century in St. John Lateran, the pope’s official parish church, as last as 1578. Lesbians continued to marry in Dalmatia as late as the eighteenth century.
The Jesus of the New Testament Gospels says nothing about (neither for nor against) same-sex marriages. His only activity was to change water into wine at a wedding in Cana, as marriage was a public festival for drinking to announce that two people agreed to live together. It does not say, anywhere in the Gospels, that the couple was neither heterosexual nor homosexual. As for Jesus’ attitude on marriage, that has no comment in the Constantine approved Gospels; all that is known is that Jesus never married (although a
Coptic document in the fourth century does proclaim that he had a “wife” but at that time, the term “wife” could mean servant or “other”. Speculation is rising that the scroll was written to silence arguments that Jesus was gay since homosexuality and same-sex unions had been officially prohibited by the pagan Emperor Constantine I’s successors (outside of the emerging Constantine Church, there is not one contemporary record that suggests that Constantine converted to the religion he created out of sinews from the cult of Mithraism to the various faiths of the chrestianos and christianos that were enhanced with the pleasures of the gods Dionysius and the vita of Julius Cesar).
Today, in the Vatican, where grown men wear long white, red, and black dresses with delicate lace and wear funny hats, as if they were coming-out transvestites or cross-dressers, hiding hatred for humanity beneath them, In an editorial this weekend, Vatican chief spokesman Father Federico Lombardi — fairy tale queen of
masquerading and the Vatican’s equivalent of Bryan Fischer who thinks the Church’s widespread sexual abuse crisis needs to be viewed within, in a stained screed: “the more general context of secularization” — affirmed that “monogamous marriage between a man and woman is an achievement of civilization.” And then he added, “If not, why not contemplate also freely chosen polygamy and, of course, not to discriminate, polyandry?”
Of course this cross-dresser says nothing about the pontifical pandering and hiding of pedophile priests in the closets throughout the city that delights demoniacally as the smallest despotic nation in the world with its own currency, bank, ATM, and rowdy student population that heads into Rome for discotheques and beer.
Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) has a long and rather sordid past. Pope Paul VI promoted Ratzinger to the cardinalate in 1977, even though he had little pastoral experience. In 1981, he settled in Rome when he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the Inquisition) and vowed to root out heresy and discipline “staying lambs”, and became one of John Paul II’s most influential advisors (Walsh, Mary Ann (2005). From Pope John Paul II to Benedict XVI: an inside look at the end of an era, the beginning of a new one, and the future of the church. Lanham, MD and New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 135). Under Ratzinger, the modest reforms created by John XXIII were openly attacked, nuns were silenced, and candidates for bishoprics and the cardinalate were selected for their loyalty to the past and not their spiritual growth or desire to follow the Beatitudes in the Gospel. Ratzinger’s goal, once he became pope, has been to erase all visages of Vatican II and the legacy of Pope John XXIII. He is against any form of objective truth or moral truth and believes that Roman Catholics must follow the teaching of the Church blindly making him more dangerous to civilization than the self-flagellant Josemaria Escrivá and his mephistophlean Opus Dei that aims at world domination and elevation of Roman Catholicism as the only true religion.
Ratzinger has returned Latin to the Mass to calm conservatives (Gledhill, Ruth. “Pope set to bring back Latin Mass that divided the Church” The Times 11 October 2006; he accomplished this dark art on November 10, 2012, by establishing a special academy for it at the cost of millions while millions of starving and homeless Roman Catholics had their plight ignored). Far from a Holy Father, Ratzinger is an open censor, suspending the theologian Leonardo Boff of Concordia, Brasil, who has been known for his active support for the rights of the poor and excluded, having written his doctoral thesis (University of Munich, 1970), Die Kirche als Sakrament im Horizont der Welterfahrung, on how the Church can help the poor; that writing and his teaching raised the ire of a corrupt cardinalate determined to feed their own selfish interest. Boff opposed the Iraq War for Oil that was charged by Halliburton and its CEO: Vice President Dick Cheney, and considered George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon’s leadership to be similar to that of “fundamentalist terrorist states.”
Boff minced no words in his scathing criticism of despotic rulers in the Middle East, stating: “Those [emirs and kings] are despotic, they do not even have a constitution. Though extremely rich, they maintain the people in poverty” (the Portuguese is: “[Os USA] fizeram alianças espúrias com os emires e reis. Estes são despóticos, sequer possuem constituição. Embora riquíssimos, mantém o povo na pobreza.” When Boff attacked the wanton misuse of Church funds, Benedict silenced him and pushed further and fired other teachers who did not fall into line with his ideology that is closer to that of Hitler than of the New Testament Jesus. Benedict’s greatest crimes are his denial of relativity (that he claims is a “prison” since it denies the acceptance of “established truths”) and raising the long-disproven theory of absolutes; the German pope rejects science and evolution clinging desperately to the discredited theory of creationism that Stephen Hawking amply proved to be false (Hawking, Stephen (1990). A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. New York, NY: Bantom Books) when noting that gravity disproves the necessity of a divine being intervening in the development and expansion of the universe; to Benedict’s “prolific writings” that show a mere retelling and recopying of the works of others rather than a scholarly approach of research, investigation and formulation of new theses and theories, formulae and foundation stones on which to build. Disputation and discussion are silenced to the point that discussion and argument must be centered around past written and spoken thoughts of Father and Mothers (e.g. Hildegard of Bingen who was not even recognized as a saint at the beginning of 2012, and was better known for her 12th century mysticism and music (she was possibly a child chantress: Michael McGrade, “Hildegard von Bingen”, in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: allgemeine Enzyklopaldie der Musik,2nd edition, T.2, Vol. 8, ed. Ludwig Fischer. Kassel, Deutscheland and New York, NY: Bahrenreiter, 1994), and also had written
nearly 400 letters to correspondents ranging from Popes to Emperors to abbots and abbesses, a commentary on the gospel, two hagiographical works, and three great volumes of visionary theology: Scivias, Liber vitae meritorum (“Book of Life’s Merits” or “Book of the Rewards of Life”), and Liber divinorum operum (“Book of Divine Works”); critical editions of all three of Hildegard’s major works are in the Corpus Christianorum: Continuatio Medievalis: Scivias in vols. 43-43A, Liber vitae meritorum in vol. 90, and Liber divinorum operum in vol. 92. She was a popular German writer in the Middle Ages, but no one considered her for sainthood (except in scattered congregations) or the rank of a doctor of the Church until contemporary culture looked past visions toward reality (Bennett, Judith M. and Hollister, Warren C. Medieval Europe: A Short History (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001), 317; critical editions of all three of Hildegard’s major works have appeared in the Corpus Christianorum: Continuatio Medievalis: Scivias in vols. 43-43A, Liber vitae meritorum in vol. 90, and Liber divinorum operum in vol. 92); the last doctor (teacher) of the church was St. Thérèse of Lisieux (January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897) of France, died of tuberculosis at the age of 24 and was named a doctor of the church in 1997, by John Paul II, without any traditional credentials (her single work was The Story of a Soul, a collection of her autobiographical manuscripts consisting of poems, plays for the church, prayers and recorded conversations with her religious sisters–but again was a mystic) of the Church. According to Guy Gaucher,
one of her autobiographers, “Thérèse fell victim to an excess of sentimental devotion which betrayed her. She was victim also to her language, which was that of the late nineteenth century and flowed from the religiosity of her age” (Guy Gaucher (1987). The Spiritual Journey of Therese of Lisieux, London, UK: Darton, Longman and Todd, p.2). Hildegard, like Thérèse, have more in common with illusions passed as mysticism than with any form of concentrated study that could better the world, as Boffs provided and was censured for. Their primary focus was on the Mother of God and Child, more in keeping with the worship of Isis (the original Θεοτοκος or Theotokos: birth giver/god bearer) and Horus of ancient Egypt than any legitimate tracts on the first century CE that did not accord Mary any significant place other than being the human mother of a mortal Jesus (only the canonical gospels of Matthew and Luke describe Mary as a virgin (Greek παρθένος, parthénos) while others remain silent). Mark names her only once (6:3) and John never mentions her by name nor accords her a special place in the narrative of the Jesus of the New Testament. In Luke’s Book of the Acts of the Apostles, Mary and the “brothers of Jesus” (indicating that Mary was
not “ever virgin”) are mentioned in the company of the eleven who are gathered in the upper room after the ascension but only the elder brother James has any significant role in the community. Mary’s assumed role can be dated further back to the various virgin Venuses that symbolized fecundity and fertility as the source of life and thus gods in their own right frequently surplanting male deities.
Hildegard gained the stature of being a Mother of the Church on October 7, 2012, as she found her inspiration in the Mother of Christ and saints–a common medieval movement that returns to the Great Mother of the Waters in pagan Germany who promised visions to her worshippers. To this end “Marriage and the family are not in fact a chance sociological construction, the product of particular historical and financial situations. On the other hand, the question of the right relationship between the man and the woman is rooted in the essential core of the human being and it is only by starting from here that its response can be found”–not a word that is empirically proven. From from the antiquated and amusing humor of Benedict’s defense of “the family as being God-created”, Chris Brickell (who prefers to use David Halperin’s word “historicism” rather than social constructionism) and other sociologists (cp. Farber, Bernard (1982) “Systematic Generation of Theory in Family Sociology ” (1982). The Sociological Quarterly23 (Autumn):427-454; cf. Bernardes, Jon (1988). “Whose ‘family’? A note on ‘The changing sociological construct of the family’”. The Sociological Review (May) 267-277; the entire issue is defined by the American Sociological Association) have repeatedly showing the evolution and devolution of the family in social contexts, showing that Benedict is not only against the rigorous requirements of science but of all educational fields. All of the writings and pontificating are more appropriate for the tenth century than for the twenty-first century and mark an attempt to return to the Dark Ages of Superstition and division among people, a scenario of terror hailed by conservatives and neo-conservatives who reject advances in any discipline and who long for the days bygone of absolutes and the arguably offensive innovation of infallibility of dogma.
Following the inanity of American conservatives who lament the possible future where brothers and sisters marry and have sex (Rod Dreher in The American Conservative)—while ignoring that in the Bible it was a common practice as when Abraham took his sister Sarah for his wife (Genesis 20:12) and then sold her twice (first to the Egyptian pharaoh, then to Abimelech) as a whore to raise capital and gain flocks of animals; Jacob married his first cousins constituting incest (Genesis 26-29), etc. as there is not one word in the Torah, Prophets of Gospels that state whom can marry who or for what reason. Marriage has never been about 1 man + 1 woman in any religious or historical literature.
Dreher demonstrating his own lack of biblical knowledge and the devolving church says nothing about the 38 popes who had wives (as was common among the Apostles in the Gospels: ref. Matthew 8:14-15; Luke 4:38-39; 1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6; etc), or the 13 popes who had male lovers with one raising his boyfriend up to the cardinalate then issuing torrents of tart tears of dismay when his bedfellow danced naked and had sex
with other cardinals. There is more pedophile activity, hunger, anger, rivalry, struggle for attention and absence of basic needs (education, affection, medical attention, etc.) in polygamous families than there are in same-sex/monogamous parented families as is proven statistically and in psychological studies. There is as much sexual depravity in the Bible as there is in the odiously opportunistic government of Uganda urged on by Scott Lively and whoring leaders who are more wretched than any Jezebel in the Bible, yet sit in judgment of the people they pretend to govern. It is past time for all foreign humanitarian and other forms of aid be withheld from this nation, and the nation boycotted.
The most despicable crimes remain within totalitarian religions: Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, Islam, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Missouri Lutheran Synod, and the Mormon (LDS) churches leading the way with a raw and rigid fundamentalism, the denial of equality between the sexes, the rejection of equal opportunity and choice, with the greatest hatred coming from the American Council of Roman Catholic Bishops and the Peru Council of Roman Catholic Bishops that now is rivaled by the bishops of the Mormon faith, especially the thundering of one-time Massachusetts Governor and Mormon bishop Willard (Mitt) Romney.
While the seemingly brain-dead German pope Josef Ratzinger prattles on about defending the fantasy family framed in his illusions as being real, the Vatican demands that families where there is spousal and child abuse, incest, hatred and loathing remain together. Despite the solecisms and draconian blustering BS of the predatory pontiff, Europe has the good sense to legalize same-sex marriages in most Roman Catholic and Protestant/ neutral countries: Spain, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, and even in Roman Catholic Poland (the Uganda of the north) where right-wing Roman Catholic hoodlums are out to exterminate Jews, end abortion and same-sex marriages (only 17% approved of same-sex marriage in 2005 but that has increased while 76% disapproved and that has decreased despite the denunciations of the pedophile priests pressed into pulpits to issue their sermons of hatred. The archaic and antihuman chant against “liberals”, as it has been in every dictatorship from Chile to Peru (and its pathetic prelate Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne who denies any attempt at self-determination among the impoverished Peruvian people, with priests attempting to better the lot of the poor and disenfranchised), Burma to Poland waging conflict among their own people over individual rights, human dignity and civil charters, with archaic
chants “Wybieram życie” (Choose Life), and “Europa normalnych rodzin” (Europe for normal families)—homosexuality continues and is recognized by every medical and psychological association of doctors on this planet as normal (it occurs regularly), and natural (it exists in all species around the world), yet there is a sense that the nation must catch up with the rest of the world, with support for same-sex marriages growing each year (read here, in Polish, cp. here, pp. 36-39, in Polish). Milan’s Cardinal Martini meticulously voiced in an interview shortly before his death that the Roman Catholic Church was outdated by no less than 200 years.
Ratzinger should retire, be arrested and stand trial for crimes against humanity, the least of which is his abuse of human rights for the LGBT community. Ratzinger either has never studied the original texts or prefers the lies of the past in condemning same-sex love and marriage that was a force in the reformed Jewish communities before Constantine I created is “catholic [universal] church” in 325 CE, as the word “homosexual” appears in no Bible before 1954, as it is not even invented until the mid-nineteenth century.
The Vatican, obviously, has only enshrined the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sianiaticus (written 1600 years ago, there was no earlier Bible), but never read either of the two bibles that the Arian bishop of Caesarea, Eusebius, wrote for the Roman emperor. To claim that there was any Bible before Eusebius is a church lie; the Emperor Constantine I burned all copies of any religious literature he did not approve during his Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.