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Even looking strictly at Christian forms of marriage, it has changed significantly over time.

  • The Bible endorses polygamy, incest, and concubinage. Its "definition of marriage" includes a wide variety of options that we rightly consider heinous and unethical today.
  • Jesus Christ considered heterosexual marriage and the nuclear family to be inconsistent with following him: "if any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters ... he cannot be my disciple". (He didn't say anything about same-sex unions.) Heterosexual marriage is therefore arguably against Christian principles.
  • There were Christian ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" in the 10th and 11th century and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" in the 11th and 12th century. Similar Christian ceremonies were performed in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries, Greece in the 13th, Serbia in the 14th. There are records of Christian same sex unions spanning a thousand years, from the 8th to the 18th century. [1]
  • The Catholic Church considered marriage a secular matter until the Council of Trent [W] (1545-1563) decreed that a marriage was not valid unless it took place before a priest and two witnesses. [2] "Until 1545, Christian marriages in Europe were by mutual consent, declaration of intention to marry and upon the subsequent physical union of the parties. ...the presence of a priest or witnesses was not required." - Wikipedia