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Old 08-27-2007, 05:05 PM   #1
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Medieval Gays Got Unions

[q]Gay Civil Unions Sanctioned in Medieval Europe
By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 27 August 2007 08:50 am ET

Civil unions between male couples existed around 600 years ago in medieval Europe, a historian now says.

Historical evidence, including legal documents and gravesites, can be interpreted as supporting the prevalence of homosexual relationships hundreds of years ago, said Allan Tulchin of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

If accurate, the results indicate socially sanctioned same-sex unions are nothing new, nor were they taboo in the past.

“Western family structures have been much more varied than many people today seem to realize," Tulchin writes in the September issue of the Journal of Modern History. "And Western legal systems have in the past made provisions for a variety of household structures.”

For example, he found legal contracts from late medieval France that referred to the term "affrèrement," roughly translated as brotherment. Similar contracts existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe, Tulchin said.

In the contract, the "brothers" pledged to live together sharing "un pain, un vin, et une bourse," (that's French for one bread, one wine and one purse). The "one purse" referred to the idea that all of the couple's goods became joint property. Like marriage contracts, the "brotherments" had to be sworn before a notary and witnesses, Tulchin explained.

The same type of legal contract of the time also could provide the foundation for a variety of non-nuclear households, including arrangements in which two or more biological brothers inherited the family home from their parents and would continue to live together, Tulchin said.

But non-relatives also used the contracts. In cases that involved single, unrelated men, Tulchin argues, these contracts provide “considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships."

The ins-and-outs of the medieval relationships are tricky at best to figure out.

"I suspect that some of these relationships were sexual, while others may not have been," Tulchin said. "It is impossible to prove either way and probably also somewhat irrelevant to understanding their way of thinking. They loved each other, and the community accepted that.”[/q]



so, like, what's this again with the whole bucking of 5,000 years of tradition and destroying the family and how no society has ever done this and all that, you know, bigoted bunk?
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:08 PM   #2
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They're thinking, they're thinking. Give them some time. Sheesh. Always in a rush for answers.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:11 PM   #3
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They were all best friends. They weren't sexual because that's gross.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:14 PM   #4
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And it was Europe... You know how "they" are over there...
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:14 PM   #5
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i fail to see what's so hard about all of this.

gay people exist. they've always existed. they exist in roughly the same numbers in every society in every country throughout the world and throughout history. Memphis and i watched a documentary last night about coming out in the 3rd world, and whether it's Pakistan or Malaysia or Namibia, nearly everyone's experience is almost exactly the same (despite different political circumstance). it's so obviously a normal part of the spectrum of human sexuality. what is so freaking hard about finding a place for gay people in society?
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by elevated_u2_fan
And it was Europe... You know how "they" are over there...


France, no less. all those Homopeans.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:20 PM   #7
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Well.... France.


And yes, at that time France has been Christianised.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:22 PM   #8
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And yes, at that time France has been Christianised.
Does that like, involve a guy named Christian or something?
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:23 PM   #9
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Originally posted by Irvine511
what is so freaking hard about finding a place for gay people in society?
So, do gay people have no place in society in, for the sake of argument, a typical large cosmopolitan city in the North East of the USA?

Aren't you, to be blunt, somewhat exaggerating the level of homophobia which exists today, and rather understating the level which existed in previous societies?


Homophobia, 14 & 15th C. Florence:-


"In fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Florence — where men were fond of sodomy to such an extent that the Germans dubbed pederasts Florenzer and the German word for sodomy became florenzen — the laws were precise with a vengeance: pederasts were castrated; consenting boys under 14 were beaten, driven naked through the city, and fine 50 lire; youths between 14 and 18 were fined 100 lire; houses or fields where the act took place were laid waste; men found in suspicious circumstances were presumed guilty; torture could be used to elicit a confession; conviction resulted in burning at the stake."

http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/homopho5.htm


Homophobia, late 19th C. Britain:-

"The final trial was presided over by Mr. Justice [Sir Alfred] Wills. On May 25, 1895 Wilde was convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years' hard labour.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_W...o_Reading_Gaol


Homophobia, early 21st C. USA:-

"In contrast, twenty-six states have constitutional amendments explicitly barring the recognition of same-sex marriage, confining civil marriage to a legal union between a man and a woman. Forty-three states have statutes restricting marriage to two persons of the opposite sex, including some of those that have created legal recognition for same-sex unions under a name other than "marriage." A small number of states ban any legal recognition of same-sex unions that would be equivalent to civil marriage."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-se..._United_States


Spot the trend?
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


So, do gay people have no place in society in, for the sake of argument, a typical large cosmopolitan city in the North East of the USA?

Do they have the same place you would?
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by elevated_u2_fan


Does that like, involve a guy named Christian or something?
Christian Slater?
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


So, do gay people have no place in society in, for the sake of argument, a typical large cosmopolitan city in the North East of the USA?

Aren't you, to be blunt, somewhat exaggerating the level of homophobia which exists today, and rather understating the level which existed in previous societies?



gay relationships have no legal status in a majority of US states. things can vary city to city, town to town, but with the exception of Massachusetts, gay relationships are always inferior to straight relationships when they are even recognized, and often they are never recognized in any sort of legal sense at all.

where have i exaggerated the level of homophobia that exists today? if anything, the point i like to make is that those who are homophobic belong in a museum as they are increasingly in the minority, and because there's no coherent argument against gay marriage, it's a dying position. i'm quite optimistic about the future, because the kids are all right.

as for the historical examples -- i dunno. that's what i would have expected from Christian Europe, but what the article i've cited demonstrates is that the world back then was much more complexed and nuanced that we give it credit for, and it seems rather irrefutable that some societies found places to recognize gay relationships. the overall point is that this goes to the heart of one argument against gay marriage/civil unions -- unleashing the flood gates! what could happen! has never been tried before! -- and is also simply interesting.

and, finally, we gave you people the Sistine Chapel. why can't you give us some respect?

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Old 08-27-2007, 06:18 PM   #13
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Well if you had civil unions 600 years ago then I guess supporting them now would be a "Conservative" point of view. You know, maintaining status quo/tradition, all that good stuff. Well.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
gay people exist. they've always existed. they exist in roughly the same numbers in every society in every country throughout the world and throughout history. Memphis and i watched a documentary last night about coming out in the 3rd world, and whether it's Pakistan or Malaysia or Namibia, nearly everyone's experience is almost exactly the same (despite different political circumstance). it's so obviously a normal part of the spectrum of human sexuality. what is so freaking hard about finding a place for gay people in society?
No no no!!!! According to Melon and PhillyFan, it was much different back then. Homosexuality then, is not the same as it is now. They didn't have loving, caring, monogomous relationships back then.

Hogwash.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:48 PM   #15
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Originally posted by MadelynIris
No no no!!!! According to Melon and PhillyFan, it was much different back then. Homosexuality then, is not the same as it is now. They didn't have loving, caring, monogomous relationships back then.

Hogwash.
What they were referring to in the Bible was not loving, caring, monogomous relationships.
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