Same-sex Unions in Antiquity

| Past,Present

The issue of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other alternative lifestyle rights has been prominent in the US and throughout the world for the past 30 or 40 years. The related issue of same-sex marriage has come even more to the fore in American culture since the Supreme Court ruled in late June 2015 that same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states.

One of the arguments against same-sex marriage by the Christian right is that God mandated only heterosexual marriage. The religious right cites various scripture passages, in both Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) and New Testament, to bolster their arguments. Gay marriage opponents condemn same-sex relationships as immoral, unnatural and/or perverted.

Recent scholarship in the area, however, puts the lie to these arguments. John Boswell, Bernadette Brooten, Mary Rose D’Angelo, and I have offered books and articles on this subject, showing a long history of church-approved same-sex relationships, including marriage. Readers are encouraged to know the facts before they believe lies or propagate theories themselves that are not proven by scholarly, peer-reviewed evidence. See this interesting recent article on this research, which discusses this scholarship in the context of the current controversy.