As the Supreme Court takes up two cases regarding the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” Americans may be surprised to learn that same-sex marriage was legalized once before.
The practice of homosexuality in the Roman Empire had increased during the early years until the Romans accepted and adopted the pederasty of the Greeks (fornication with boys ages 12 to 18). Though at first the acts were considered acceptable only if the boy was a slave, the Romans eventually extended their tolerance of homosexual acts to adult men, both free and slave. Same-sex marriage, once unthinkable, was not far behind.
Early Roman poets and critics wrote about the practice, from Juvenal’s satire that mentions Gracchus, who “arrayed himself in the flounces and train and veil of a bride,” to Martial, a first-century poet who observed that homosexual marriage was not uncommon in the empire during the first century. Both Juvenal and Martial gave us accounts of men who “played the bride” in wedding ceremonies, wearing bridal veils like women.
Read the full story here: www.spcs.org.nz/2013/same-sex-marriage-the-roman-emperors/