The History of Same-Sex Unions

“Love is the supreme value around which all moral values can be integrated into one ethical system valid for the whole of humanity” A quote by Pitirim Sorokin

Love is something that we as people value. Something that people can agree on, the fact that love exists, and is an important part of human culture. Love comes in all different forms and it has throughout history. When we look at same-sex unions we see that they aren’t talked about much. It’s not talked about in school and it’s usually not brought up in casual conversation. But the fact of the matter is that same-sex unions have been around for a long time, and they are quite a significant point in history. This article will have 3 main points: 1. The general history of same-sex unions  2. The rights of same-sex unions 3. The future of same-sex union ships.

1. The general history of same-sex unions. The history of same-sex unions goes far from the past. The first ever recorded gay couple was in  2400 BCE, and that was just the first recorded couple. There are many instances of same-sex relations.

        Greece had same-sex relations. Commonly, one common way this was practiced was between one (male) mentor and their (male) mentee would have homosexual relations. It was also present among women but not very commonly.

        In Rome, there was a Roman king who married men on two different occasions. Same-sex relations were allowed and respected in Ancient Rome as long as they followed certain rules. This included who was allowed to be caught in these relations, the respected age ranges, and how people were allowed to engage in same-sex relations. For example, being in a sexual relationship with a man of lower class was perfectly acceptable, being caught doing so with someone of the same class was considered taboo. (University of Birmingham)

Egypt also has depictions of same-sex relations, in their art, and while it’s a heavily debated topic,  it’s still a highly likely possibility. This art on its poster is one of the debated pieces of work in which people wonder whether it’s depicting homosexuality, or something else.

Ancient China also has documentation of same-sex unions. It happened in many of the dynasties and all through ancient China’s history. Now clearly this isn’t all the records of same-sex relations in ancient times. There are many other civilizations that accepted and tolerated same-sex relations, such as people in the Americas, people who followed the religion of Hinduism, and more. But let’s move on to the common era.

Rome outlawed gay marriage after Catholics I’m were made the official religion of Rome, which was an unfortunate event. As time moved on people became more opposed to same-sex relations, and this was partially due to the rise in influence and popularity of Abrahamic religions. These religions generally don’t accept homosexuality, however; this didn’t stop same-sex relations and unions. People still have same-sex attraction, but that is not something that disappears. Many people in history are debated and or confirmed to have exhibited same-sex attraction. Leonardo da Vinci is one of them, he was involved in same-sex relations. Shakespeare is more debated as it wasn’t confirmed but it was heavily indicated. He has written pieces of romantic literature for men. Other people still acted and exhibited same-sex behavior, it just became a less talked about, and sometimes criminalized subject.

2. The rights of same-sex marriage. For a long time same-sex marriage was not protected by any country, and wasn’t fully legal in any country either. However, in 2001 the Netherlands became the first country to fully accept, legalize, and protect same-sex marriage. A huge day in modern times. Now a rise in countries that accept homosexual relations but the number of countries that have it protected is small. The US fully protected same-sex marriage not too long ago, it was a month or two ago. And the most recent country to fully protect same-sex marriage is Andorra, and this was on February 17th, 2023.

32 countries have fully perfected the right to same-sex marriage; out of 195 countries. Out of the 195 countries in the world, only 32 of them protect same-sex marriage. 163 countries don’t protect it and some even criminalize it. Around 70 of these countries criminalize same-sex relations. There are more countries where it is illegal to love who you love, than where same-sex marriage is protected. There is still a long way to go when it comes to the right of same-sex unions. This all being said, there has been a significant improvement from use 100 years ago; most people agree that love is love and you should be able to marry who you please. There are protests all around the world for this equality and right. Because love is meant to be something that people can agree on and value in which all moral values can be integrated into one valid system.

3. So What Does the Future of Same-Sex Unions Look Like? As people are more open to the idea, and differences of people, same-sex marriage is becoming less of an uncomfortable subject. With the power of communication, gathering, and collective agreement, love will win. More countries will protect same-sex marriage. It will stop being so criminalized, and people can live how they want.

People will start to agree on love again, something we hold close, and people can be who they want to be, with rights, and less stoical stigma. This is all only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to same-sex unions, there is so much more to learn, see, and help when it comes to this topic.