MadelynIris said:BTW, Irvine, this article supports what I would hope we can achieve one day. It is right in line with my hope for all people who want to join in a union.
given your track record, i remain suspicious of your motives, but we can also disagree here. i think there is worth in recognizing a union between two people who are romantically in love with one another and, more often than not, will seek to raise a family together. gay or straight shouldn't matter. it's the willingness to make a commitment to someone else, in front of friends and family and in the eyes of hte law, that should be celebrated.
should the protection of other relationships be explored? sure. but that's not my issue right now, and it's not one i'm interested in fighting for politically until my issue is settled. i'm open to discussion, but i dont' have the investment.
now, as for gays and history. it seems clear to me that homosexual people have been around forever, and the treatment of these people varied widely from culture to culture, epoch to epoch, and had more often than not to do with however the powers-that-be chose to interpret their various religious texts, once again underscoring the utter subjectivity of even reading "homosexuality" into certain Biblical passages. what is certain is the continued existence of same-sex love, and due to it's minority status, it's acceptance was predicated upon the majority's attitude towards it.
it seems clear that, in this article, we had some medieval societies who fully understood the immutability of same-sex love, and sought to incorporate these people into the folds of their respective societies. and, really, that's all gay people are asking for right now.
if you want to talk about temple prostitutes and pagan ceremonies as "homosexuality," you've succeeded in demonstrating a lack of understanding of what we mean when we say homosexual, a homosexual, homosexuality, and gay.
it's like sex and gender. sex is what your parts determine, gender is your identity. you can be a homosexual and not be gay. in fact, this is part of a big problem in black/latino communites where homophobia is so rampant, some men find being gay inconceivable despite their same-sex attraction. so they are homosexual, they can't change that. but they refuse to self-identify as a homosexual person, which we understand as a gay person. likewise, you could introduce another sex partner into your marriage. perhaps you and this man might perform sex acts on one another as your wife watches. those would be homosexual sex acts -- fellatio, anal sex -- but that does not make you a homosexual, let alone gay.
likewise, a homosexual act performed in the midst of some ceremony doesn't mean that the people involved were homosexual, let alone gay.
so, in sum, it's all a lot more complicated than we'd like to think.
i'm sure Melon can give us a more nuanced history, but you'll have to look at various societies and see that Thailand is very different from, say, Russia. why? not just the presence of the church, but specifically how the church chose to wield it's influence over society. look at Native American societies. there was a clear gay identity -- those who were refered to as having "two-spirits."
the point is, what we've come to understand as homosexuality has been around forever, but a gay identity, and more specifically, a gay identity that posits the same worth and value as a straight identity, is a modern concept, and what we now recognizes as the cultural semiotics of a gay identity -- shoes, clothes, words, unspoken messages, saying it without saying it, etc. -- probably originated in London in the late 19th century and becoming most visible with Oscar Wilde.