Sunday, May 17, 2015
No, conservatives, other societies have recognized same-sex marriage in history
Trevor Burns has a Washington Post article, “Conservatives say marriage has always been between a man and a woman. They’re wrong”, May 13, link here.
The article notes that some West African societies have allowed lesbian marriages, and even allowed the “female husband” to keep custody of biological children from the wife (sired by biological men).
It also notes that some native-American societies have allowed same-sex marriages when both work roles are represented.
Burns notes that it seems odd to appeal to historical tradition to maintain an established notion of opposite-sex-only marriage. Yet the book “The Great Divide” by William Gairdner (Book reviews, May 14) notes that conservatives believe that moral notions are deeply rooted in tradition and not always subject to intellectual parsing. Even the Supreme Court has said this in the past (“Bowers v. Hardwick”, 1986, well before “Lawrence v. Texas” (2003).
It also seems evident that practically all societies still tie marriage in some way to raising children and to group survival. The changes in women’s roles in more recent decades have made gender roles much less critical than in the past, to the point that in a few cases, outstanding soldiers or male athletes have then declared themselves to be transgendered women.
Many older societies have also recognized eunuchs or asexual people as have priesthood functions.
Richard Sincere had posted this link as a tweet a few days ago.