Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 15:07:21 -0400

From: Linguistics and Germanic Slavic Asian and African Languages


Subject: Re: Krauthammer column&responseead


Duane Campbell writes:

in the entire history of

mankind there has never been official sanction

of same-sex marriage.

I have long been led to believe that such assertions as Dune's are not really

true, especially if you take into account the broad anthrolpological range of

human cultures. It is my understanding that, for example, among certain

Native American peoples there were men who "married" both males and females

simultaneously (an earlier-twentieth century anthropologist would have said

"kept both males and females as wives"). There have been many ways of carving

up the sociosexual spectrum and organizing relationships, many of which

involve "sanctioned" and reified same-sex-spousal equivalence.

Of course, it would be possible to define "official" and/or "marriage" in

such a way that Duane's assertion is tautological and therefore true (but