Wednesday, April 29, 2015


It's a stupid argument anyway, that the definition of marriage has been the same for "millenia." Even if were true, the fact that we've been doing something for a long time doesn't make it right. But it's not even true. I guess I'm a little surprised that the tradition of same-sex marriage in Native American communities seems never to have come up. Do these people (the lawyers and judges in favor of same-sex marriage ... and for that matter, this New York Times reporter who doesn't bring it up) really not know this stuff? I find that hard to believe. Maybe it's not flattering to compare ourselves to "primitive" cultures?

I know there was assorted institutionalized queerness all over this continent before Europeans arrived and obliterated it along with everything else, but Texas is what I'm familiar with because I wrote a paper on it at UT.

Cabeza de Vaca was the first European to encounter the Natives in Texas. This is from his journal. He's writing about various coastal groups:
"During the time I was among them, I saw something very repulsive, namely, a man married to another. These are impotent and womanish beings who dress like and do the work of women. They carry heavy loads but do not use a bow. Among these Indians we saw many of them. They are more robust than other men, taller, and can bear heavy loads."
This kind of stuff is all over the contemporary written descriptions of Native American societies by the Spanish invaders in the 16th century. The Spanish at the time were obsessed with homosexuality (the Catholics are always obsessed with homosexuality but it was particularly harsh in the 16th century -- the "sin against nature" was regarded worse than murder) so they wrote about it negatively of course, but the fact that they were so fixated on it at least had the effect of them noting it at all.

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