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A Brief History of LGBTQIA+ Marriage & Relationships 

With pride month celebrations nearly complete, I wanted to jump in with some history on LGBTQIA+ marriages. Where we have come from and where we are today. Despite what the media might have you believe the LGBTQIA+ community is not something that came about a few decades ago. The community has been around as long as people have, it is only in recent history that the community became so austracisied. 


So let’s have a look at the brief history of LGBTQIA+ marriages + relationships….. 


Roman pot art work, 8 men turned inwards inspecting on means knee


When visiting a history museum, we see a lot of artwork and pottery. These works of art are typically images of their day to day lives. So what happens when we look a little harder? Many roman pots and paintings highlight same same-sex relationships that were present within a lot of the roman empire. Although weddings themselves were reserved for a reproductive purpose. The romans rightfully considered sex as a natural part of human existence and held no judgement over who this was between. 


5 tribal men facing forward, depicted through bronze artwork


In pre-colonial Africa, there are many documents and artwork showing that female-female marriage was very common at this time. Although it is unsure if there was anything romantic between partners, there was a  ceremony that allowed widowed women to marry another woman for companionship to raise their children together and support one another.


medical painting, 4 women to left of priest, 4 women right of priest. two women holding hands in centre


It wasn’t really until the 4th century that there was any kind of ruling on same sex relationships and marriages. This was to do with the rise of christianity and their interpretation of the old testament. Marriage itself was focused on as an end goal and was reserved for procreation. Although this has a huge impact on the LGBTQIA+ community, it also tainted the idea that sex was a part of human nature and that it should only be had between man and wife. This in turn cemented the idea of pre marital sex as a sin and anyone who partook in such activities were sinners. An opinion that still holds true in many countries today.


two men, one sat in front of other, first man holding head wreath away from second man in playful gesture

The Renaissance 

During the renaissance there is a long list of gay artists. Although there is not a lot of knowledge on female/female relationships at this time although we can be sure that where there is love there is a way. As well as artists there has been documentation of love letters between monks who lived together in the monasteries. The renaissance itself was a time of love and expression so the fact that many individuals took this time to partake in same-sex relationships is not an outlandish idea. 


two women embracing on outdoor lounge furniture


During Henry 8th’s reign, he put in place a law which targeted gay men and made it illegal for them to procreate. When Mary Tudor then took to the throne she overturned all rulings that Henry had made during his time as king. This meant that the laws put in place to target gay men were removed. With the support of Mary Tudor many men were able to live their lives as they wished during her reign. 

Between the Tudor era and the 21st century there were many rules and laws put in place around the world to condem same-sex relationships and marriages. The community was consistently shunned and pushed into the shadows. 


two women in crowd, one kissing the other on the cheek

Modern Day 

Stonewall – after police raided the Stonewall Inn in 1969, the interception turned into full blown riots within hours. This became a pinnacle moment for the rest of LGBTQIA+ history up until the present day. This riot sparked pride parades all over the world! the community and its allies continued to expand every year and from this day forward, laws all over the world began to change. 

In the last 80 years LGBTQIA+ marriages has been legalised all over the world. We have come so far in a fight for our rights, but we still have a long way to go. 

Here is a map of exactly where…. 

Map of legalised marriages around the world


If you would like to use this opportunity to reach out and support the community, you can do so by following the links below. 


If you are looking at planning a wedding and need some advice, know that this is a safe space for all and you can contact me here


Sources for the article

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