Friday, August 24, 2007

"Traditional Marriage" gets a Gay history lesson...

A study in the September issue of Journal of Modern History indicates that same-sex marriages may have existed as early as the 16th century.

Allan A. Tulchin asserts that the French and other European cultures may have supported - and, in fact, sponsored - arrangements similar to same-sex unions. The arrangements, called affrèrement (which translates to brotherment) closely resemble modern marriage contracts. Tulchin explains:

All of their goods usually became the joint property of both parties, and each commonly became the other’s legal heir. They also frequently testified that they entered into the contract because of their affection for one another. As with all contracts, affrèrements had to be sworn before a notary and required witnesses, commonly the friends of the affrèrés… [There is] considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships…They loved each other, and the community accepted that.

There’s been a “radical shift in attitudes” between the age of affrèrement and today, says Tulchin, when anti-gay marriage activists espouse the Biblical origins of the nuclear family.

Could this knock a hole in “traditionalist’s” arguments or will they continue to ignore the compelling evidence? Take a wild guess…

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