Medeival Europe: More Progressive Than Us?

Sometimes I kinda wish I had a time machine. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to go back and see first hand the building of the pyramids? Or perhaps Socrates orate for his pupils (assuming you understand ancient Greek. Yes my time machine would have to come with a translator)? How about gay unions in medeival Europe?

In a way it’s kind of sad. At this point in the over two hundred year history of America, we find ourselves still struggling on the issue of gay marriage and gay civil unions.

While prominent blogger Andrew Sullivan is lucky enough to be able to get married despite his sexual orientation, Republican politicians such as Fred Thompson are actually somewhat liberal in only seeking to prevent states from having to recognize gay marriage, as opposed to banning it completely. What a guy.

Now, my personal stance on this is simple. I’ve long believed that states should stop recognizing marriages, gay or straight, and seek only to recognize civil unions. Marriage is often times a personal and spiritual thing, the core bond lying amid the emotional ties between the couple involved. Also, this is often a religious experience.

In mandating based on faith who can and can’t get married, that seems an awful lot like blurring that wall between church and state, something I’ve never been too terribly fond of.

And so, if you want to get “married”, then let that be between you, your church if you have one, your family, and probably most importantly, your to be spouse. As for civil unions, that is most definitely the state’s business as this largely deals with how you are taxed, how you receive various benefits, etc.

In any case, I find it a little depressing that we’re having a problem where, of all places, medeival France seemed to have it down. These “affrerements” were essentially for instances where brothers would inherit an estate, and living together, would continue to execute that estate as a single entity. However, as it turns out, these unions weren’t granted only to familial relationships, but for non related folks as well. While details are sketchy, it is believed that these arrangements were for a formalization of homosexual relationships.

Fast forward a couple of centuries and here we are, gay marriage a hot button issue.


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