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Research Papers Same Sex Marriages During Medieval Times

Research papers on same sex marriage during medieval times are part of projects written for topics related to gay, lesbian, bi and transgender issues. They can focus on sociological aspects or historical topics for a research paper and our writers will write it from any angle you need. Some research papers that our writers have focused on regarding same sex marriage during Medieval Times include the following:

  • The legal aspects of Medieval same sex marriage
  • Who advocated for same sex marriage in Medieval times
  • What were the lives of same sex couples like during Medieval times

Same sex marriage was not a part of the medieval culture. The same sex union, however, could be accomplished by means of collateral adoption in stead of gay marriage, which was recognized in some medieval jurisdictions.  Same Sex Marriages During Medieval TimesThe concept of collateral adoption was derived from the Roman period, when an adult with no heirs could formally adopt an adult male as his heir.  In some cases, collateral adoption was used as a means to formalize a closer friendship between two men, and was seen as a ceremony that entitled the men to legally call each other brothers.  While this custom was different from the concept of marriage as it was understood under medieval law as it was nonetheless analogous in that it was a ceremony that established property rights.

The issues that the court had to decide was the extent that property was affected by the agreement between two individuals of the same gender, and whether the agreement impaired the property rights of the children or spouses of the two individuals in the agreement. The general approach to a formal agreement between two individuals of the same gender was to assume that it was a business agreement similar to a partnership.  As a result, the union would not generally affect any preexisting property rights of children or spouses.

Medieval Canon Law

Medieval canon law, however, did not formally recognize the concept of collateral adoption as a substitute for marriage, despite evidence that it was informally practiced. This indicates that the courts were not willing to become directly involved in these types of personal matters as long as property rights were not affected by the arrangement made by two friends of the same gender.  As a result, the law was somewhat indifferent to the issue of same sex marriages, and it separated itself from any recognition of the gay culture of the time. Due to the draconian nature of medieval courts, no persons contemplating same sex unions sought a declaratory judgment as to the legal validity of such a union especially where  it involved those opposing gay marriage. Perhaps it was the first governmental use of don’t  ask don’t tell.

The tacit assumption of medieval family law when dealing with the relationships between two individuals of the same gender was that they were merely expressing friendship and had no carnal interest in each other.  This was due to the canon law prohibitions against homosexuality and bisexuality, which were incorporated into the edicts and codes in many, but not all of the secular jurisdictions.  In the majority of situations, the courts did not deal directly with the issue of homosexuality unless the conduct was flagrant and notorious. The charge of homosexual conduct, however, was often included in the list of crimes in indictments of heretics or witches, which was intended to further discredit these individuals rather than to specifically deter homosexual behavior.

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