The FRC’s Ken Klukowski Spreads anti-Marriage Equality Santorum

Jul 02 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Ken Klukowski, Director of Religious Ignorance at the FRC

I wrote this morning about Rick Santorum’s false claims about the history of same-sex marriage, namely, that there is no history of same-sex marriage. As I demonstrated, this is a lie. Turns out that Ken Klukowski, the Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, is telling the same lies. Klukowski claims that even though the Greeks were pederasts, they didn’t “put homosexuality on a pedestal” and didn’t legalize it. Of course they did. Why else were the early Christian Roman emperors so eager to make it illegal? Like Santorum, Klukowski claims no civilization has ever allowed gay marriage.

 

This claim was a lie this morning and it’s still a lie.

Marriage has existed in every culture, in every country around the world, for thousands and thousands of years, since the beginning of humanity. Same-sex marriage has existed for less than a decade. It was not until the year 2002 that it was recognized in any nation on earth in the history of the world and even cultures that embraced homosexuality like the ancient Greeks, the reality is even in those cultures where they were putting homosexuality on a pedestal, they never presumed to do anything to try to redefine the institution of marriage, that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. So we are in an extraordinary place where for more than 5,000 years of human history, in every country around the globe marriage was understood to be between men and women, and now we’re in this entirely brave new world where we’re redefining this basic unit of human civilization.

Personally speaking, I’m really tired of our common pagan ancestors being dragged through the dirt by these impious fundamentalist clowns. It’s bad enough they don’t get their own religion right, or their own morals, but they have to go after our ancestors too? Have they no shame?

Just because they’re bigoted on a scale matching any in history does not mean all of civilization has stooped to their lows.  There are many examples in history of same-sex relationships being normalized by various cultures, including ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia. ancient Canaan, and of course ancient Greece and Rome, mentioned this morning.

Take ancient Greece: Plato in his Symposium discusses “both companionate and transgenerational same-sex relationships.”[1] There was no law banning same-sex marriages in ancient Greece, “indeed, they were institutionalized for free male citizens.”[2]

And ancient Rome: “The consensus among modern historians is that republican Rome, like classical Greece, was tolerant of same-sex relationships. Moreover, the Romans may have accorded same-sex unions the legal or cultural status of marriages.” Cicero brings up the marriage of Curio the Elder’s son and Antonius, who was “united in a stable and permanent marriage, just as if he had given him a matron’s stola.”[3]

Historian John Boswell writes that,

[B]y the time of the early Empire references to gay marriages are commonplace.” The Roman author Martial speaks of a marriage between “the beaded Callistratus” and “the rugged Afer” and says that the marriage took place according to standard  Roman marriage laws.[4]

Marriage equality even struck the Christian saints: Sergius and Bacchus were a pair of Roman soldiers in a same-sex relationship. Sergius ended up being sainted. Far from complaining that their relationship was not fruitful as today’s fundamentalists argue, their relationship “was considered an exemplar of companionate marriage, or marriage based on agapic love and mutual respect.”[5]

So common were same-sex relationships in the ancient world that William Eskridge argues that “one might tentatively conclude that most ancient cultures did not prohibit same-sex relationships similar to marriages involving different-sex partners.”

He writes, “None of Mesopotamia’s early legal codes – the Laws of Urukagina (2375 B.C.), the Laws of Ur-Nammu (2100 B.C.), the Laws of Eshunna (1750 B.C.), the Laws of Hammurabi (1726 B.C.), and the Hittite Laws (circa 800 B.C.) – prohibited or disapproved of same-sex relationships even though sex and marriage were otherwise heavily regulated.”

Moreover, “Hittite Laws can be read to suggest that same-sex marriage was legally as well as culturally sanctioned…”

In fact, culturally sanctioned same-sex unions were not prohibited by law in the ancient world until…guess who?

Yes, then we come to the Christians who like to pretend everyone was as bigoted as them. 342 C.E. and the law enshrined in the later Theodosian Code, banning same-sex marriage and orders that the laws be armed with an “avenging sword” and promising “exquisite punishment” for those who transgressed.

Fundamentalist Christians will keep telling this lie. As long as they keep telling it, we must refute it, as often as necessary. There are trying to create a narrative that makes them seem less extreme, that portrays them as the upholders of all civilized ideals throughout history, when in reality, their religion is one of negation and rejection of everything else. They don’t represent the various cultures of history – they renounce them.

These people are not like the rest of us. They’re not like most of the people in history, outside of a few sordid examples, like the priesthood of post-exilic Israel engaged in its anti-pagan genocide and the Christian leaders of the post-pagan Roman Empire, engaged in their own anti-pagan genocide, one that spanned several centuries. They are not like us. They are to be feared. They must be fought, and they must be defeated. They are the enemy of human decency and they have been since the first of them denounced the rest of the world for not being like them.

It’s no wonder the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (Annals, Book 15, chapter 44) spoke of their “hatred of mankind” because it’s all too evident, even today.


[1] William N. Eskridge, Jr. “A History of Same-Sex Marriage, Virginia Law Review 79 (1993), 1419-1513.

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid.

[4] Cited in Eskridge (1993).

[5] Eskridge, (1993),

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