Log in

No account? Create an account

May a man marry a man?

gayIn the light of modern debate on the subject of Gay marriage it is interesting to note that it was also being debated in the 13th cent. Homophobia is a big subject of contention in Ireland at the moment because of a recent TV episode.

Hostiensis was a medieval philosopher and canon lawyer of the mid-13th cent. He and his contemporary philosophers were then engaged in an exploration of the nature of sexuality. They had concluded that there could only be one form of proper sexual intercourse: It had to be between a man and a woman, and it had to be open to at least the theoretical possibility of procreation. No strange positions. No coitus interruptus. No oral intercourse, or anal intercourse. No potions that had the effect of inducing sterility. No masturbation. Any form of sexual expression, except heterosexual sex open to procreation, was criticized as unnatural.

See more at:


In a word, yes, if he and his partner like. :o)

As far as I'm concerned if people do squidgy stuff together an' it harm none and they enjoy it then it's natural.

'Unnatural' is a phrase much favoured by bigots and narrow minded pedants.

Hostiensis was stating an opinion and it's no more valid than yours or mine or anyone else's- it's an opinion and perhaps he needed to get a life and to mind his own damn business.
Glad I was born in the 13th Century. :o
Sounds like they took their definition from the Bible, or vice versa. :p
What was the tv episode about that caused so much uproar?
Hugs, Jon
Was the RTE sued and that's why they paid that money, or were they afraid of angering the "not homophobes"?
They were scared that it would cost money they haven't got!

"An RTE source yesterday said that it made the decision to settle on pragmatic grounds, as it believed that going to court could potentially have cost the cash-strapped station "hundreds of thousands of euros", according to the station's legal advice."

Edited at 2014-02-20 16:12 (UTC)
I'm fairly convinced that the story of David and Jonathan describes a homosexual relationship, or at least is open to that interpretation. The parallels are many. David, the handsome youth who loved to dance and play the - what was it, a lyre? Jonathan falls for him and in the style of traditional marriage of the day, David leaves his home and joins Jonathan's household. Saul naturally disapproves and tries to have David killed a few times. Their love for each other exceeds the love of women, and like the best love stories, it ends tragically.
I also have to think about the story of Jesus healing the Roman Centurion's slave boy. In all the other healing stories, IIRC, Jesus is asked to do the healing by someone who loves the person who needs healing. The Greek word that gets translated as "slave boy, or servant" can also be translated as whatever the male equivalent of concubine would be, and one has to wonder why Jesus would heal a boy who was just property without perhaps exacting some sort of promise of freedom from the Centurion. The story just makes more sense if the boy was the Centurion's love.
And then there's the mysterious disciple that Jesus loved, who rested his head on Jesus' breast, and the naked boy who ran away at the garden of Gethsemane, and the youth in white who meets the women at the tomb after the resurrection.
It's all conjecture, but one finds what one looks for in the Bible.
The thing with the Middle Ages is that it was during a time when people married to procreate anyway. I'm not saying marriage for love never happened, otherwise love poetry wouldn't exist, but you made love to have children. Some people still hold to this, and that is their right. It is no more my right to dictate what they should or shouldn't do than it is to dictate what an unmarried couple should do or what a same-sex couple should do.

However, these "rules" were broken frequently. It's just that they were taboo.

Edited at 2014-02-20 12:57 (UTC)
I have never understood why the Church decided humans deserved no joy from coupling.
Hostiensis and his contemporaries (as well as people well into the 20th Century) may have believed that, but it doesn't mean that they were correct. At that time people thought that something like homosexuality or "sexual expression" from oral sex to gay sex to masturbation was wrong, but between the passage of time and modern science we've understood that this stuff isn't unnatural.

It's a fact that some people are naturally born gay (or bi!) and preventing them from getting married the same as any straight couple is wrong.

What was the situation in the Irish Tv show you speak of? I had not heard anything about that.
And yet, the question of what constitutes a man and what constitutes a woman never enters into the debate, which makes one wonder what, exactly the point of the debate is. Once you start down the road of trying to separate the men from the women, there are countless borderline cases which lend credence to the view that perhaps God is a bit more subtle in his ways than humanity, and perhaps this is a spurious subject that has more to do with unchallenged assumptions than fact or truth.
This, absolutely!

(I'm trans, as it happens and happily married :o)

If there's one thing my life experience has taught me, it is that God has a very warped sense of humour!
Last time I looked I had electricity and i'm working on a computer. My cell phone is in the car. My clothes are synthetic blend and my water is in a plastic bottle.
Guess 'm not living in the 12th century.
So, why should a 12th century opinion of the nature of relationships be of any concern to me and define the realities of 21st century life?
I just found it interesting that 800 years ago people were asking the same questions and were sure they had found the answers. Have WE now found the truth at last . . . or will people in 800 years time be still googling?
Nothing stays the same - everything is always evolving
the 12th century was a time when things began to bubble.
Thanks for this topic.
Thank the Goddess I'm living in the 21st century, not the 13th. Narrow definitions such as given by Hostiensis only proclaim man's determination to fit Divine Creation into narrow boxes and constraints. Human beings are of much greater depth and variety than only two sexes, a single allowable sexual position, and a single reason for any joining of two adult human beings. I have always had claustrophobia and it extends to narrow mind sets as well as physical spaces.

- Erulisse (one L)
I make no apologies - I have so stolen your icon!
You are more than welcome to nab it. I don't use it all that often, it's a bit snarky and I usually use my Gay Rights are Human Rights avatar instead. But on this occasion with this post, it seemed the appropriate icon to use and I'm delighted that you enjoyed it too.

- Erulisse (one L)
Same here - the lesbian icon is for those moments when words simply aren't enough!

Erulisse is an interesting name - I am reminded of a Welsh cat Goddess... From your profile however, I suspect it may be Elvish.
You are correct, it is indeed Elvish - Dance in Grace to be precise. A friend of mine who is fluent in Quenya helped me with it. I love it and have used it for many years now. The (one L) designation came about because of one board that had another Erullisse, but who spelled it with two L's. I started using the (one L) to differentiate myself and it soon became part of my sig.

- Erulisse (one L)
Many of my friends who are gay are married in their hearts.
Jesus told us to love one another. If two men or two women love each other, then I hope God blesses them. We need more love in the world.