Tuesday, October 10, 2017

When did gay marriage become legal?

The first gay wedding in America took place in 1969 at the Metropolitan Community Church in Huntington Beach, CA. Nobody went to jail because of it, so I take it that means that gay marriage was legal in 1969. 46 years before Obergfell.

Some Christians may not be too pleased about this, but it looks as if Christians invented gay marriage.


William said...


Anonymous said...

Mr. Green said…
The first gay wedding took place in 4004 B.C. (at least by Bishop Ussher's count) — at any rate, postlapsarian weddings still tend to involve much gaiety and merry-making, so I'm sure Adam and Eve's did, whenever it actually took place.

On an unrelated note, the first homosexual wedding …is lost in the mists of time, since homosexuals (insofar as we can apply that modern term to ancient eras) having been getting married for a long time.

On an also unrelated note, the first same-sex wedding took place in the year Never. (Coincidentally, that was the same year the circle was squared by that married bachelor! In fact, it might have been his wedding, I'm not sure.)

P.S. Don't plenty of not-legal things happen without anyone's going to jail?

Victor Reppert said...

If church and state are separated, they could be married in the eyes of the church but not the state. Just as, now that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, churches can, and many do, fail to recognize such marriages as legitimate from the standpoint of the church.

Historically, most people have had a strong vested interest in successful reproduction, both individually (to take care of them when they are old, to defend the nation against attack, to work in the fields, etc.) Reproductive failure, in ancient times, and even since ancient times, is considered an embarrassing failure.

So marriage was considered necessary to produce children and to insure that the paternity of those children was known. The question of sexual morality in New Testament times was whether, over and above your marriage, you could rightfully engage in some sexual fun and games, either with prostitutes, or with other unmarried women, or with men (usually boys, actually). Many in the ancient world thought you could, but Christianity's answer to that was a resounding NO. People didn't see homosexuality as a sexual orientation, they saw it as a possible activity you might engage in if you were so inclined, over and above your marriage. The idea that your sexual orientation, meaning which gender is the one to whom you are most naturally attracted, should determine your marriage partner would have been considered by the ancients to be a weird idea. Societies were stratified at this time, and sexual fun and games with people other than your spouse was often the privilege of the rich and powerful. When you're rich and important, they let you do it. We differ from the ancient world in that we choose our own mates, and many now think that if our attraction is to the same sex, then this can be our marriage. This is because of the loss of emphasis on reproductive success. We don't fear replacement failure, we fear the population bomb.