A growing number of people are challenging the idea that marriage has nothing to do with religion and that it is the state or the community that defines marriage. While it might appear so today in an increasingly secular society, the vast majority of ancient literature tells us otherwise!
Did marriage simply come about through a natural historical process? Is marriage an artificial construct of human minds in all communities globally? Did the traditional concept of marriage suddenly dawn on upon every community or did it take time to develop over thousands of years? If it was, isn’t it strange that every community in the world BEFORE the 21st century see it as:
- An institution between a man and a woman
- The ideal model to procreate, continue the family name and nurture a family
- Deepening of relationship and intimacy
- Public order and stable society
Granted that there are varying customs and traditions (e.g. Polygamy), yet we see that these 4 elements are central to the idea of marriage in every society! Even in the case of polygamous marriages, the marriage ceremony is still between a man and a woman with the continuity of the human race or the family line as its primary purpose. It is also true that for some cultures and social classes, marriages were arranged for economic reasons BUT it must be acknowledged that these marriages were always between a man and a woman…AND it is not the primary reason for marriage as suggested by Coontz (2006).
Dr. Ashley Montague (1959), a prominent anthropologist, wrote: “There are no societies in which marriage does not exist” . If marriage developed in a random, haphazard, evolutionary fashion, one might expect that “marriage” would be found in some cultures but not in others. The evidence, however, simply does not support that view. The fact is… every written ancient marriage custom and ritual is based on the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman. This would seem to point to a common origin of marriage in the history of mankind.
While some proponents of ‘same-sex marriage’ recognise that ‘marriage is a truly ancient institution that predates recorded history’ , they choose to ignore the recorded origins of marriage found in religious based historical text.
Interestingly enough, whilst numerous ancient documents prescribe the requirements and the various forms of marriage, only a handful of these texts describe its origins.
Alas for the ‘rainbow brigade’, it must make them grind their teeth in chagrin to find that the various accounts of the first marriage and its origins are found only in ancient religious texts.
The earliest historical book that documents the first marriage is provided in the book of Genesis whereby God creates a woman for the man ( Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:20-24) and the woman is described as a helper and a mate that is ‘meet’ or ‘fit’ for the man. In other words, the complementary nature of the man and the woman makes them both complete each other in a marriage. The command that follows the creation of marriage was to be ‘fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis 1:28).
China’s earliest dictionary – ‘Shuowen Jiezi’ (c. 58AD – 147AD) also have an account of the first marriage between the god Fuxi and goddess Nuwa (or Nugua). After creating the earth and all its creatures in seven days, they requested heaven to remove their deities in order that they might marry and establish the marriage institution on earth.
The Islamic Quran which appeared in written form 1000 years after Christianity describes the creation of man and woman and their purpose of marriage – to multiply:
“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect” (Surah 30:21).
“O Humans revere your Guardian Lord, Who created you from a single person created of like nature its mate, and from this scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah through Whom you claim your mutual rights” (Surah 4:1).
Although it does not directly state that the ‘mates’ refer to a man and a woman it is inferred and taught by tradition that the “mates” consist of a man and a woman by reference to Surah 4:1 that “mates” must consist of a male and female in order to produce offspring of men and women.
It is interesting to note that the majority of marriage traditions all around the world invoke the blessing of a god, the heavens, deities, or ancestral spirits. There is a general understanding in all cultures that marriage is somehow holy and/or spiritual and the joining of the man and woman must be blessed by heaven.
Having no other documents (apart from sacred text) that describe the origin of marriage, proponents of same-sex marriage can only claim that all that these texts are myths because of the differing accounts that were concocted by men and women in an age of superstition. But these are merely assumptions based on a refusal to believe anything that might disagree with their world view!
While I agree some of these stories have morphed into myths, I believe the biblical account to be the true account and the others are simply variations of the original. Hence the accounts of creation and the purpose of marriage are incredibly similar despite the fact that these different races of people are found at the opposite ends of the globe.
Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), the famous atheist philosopher gave his reason for his anti-God / religion stance: “I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning … the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.” 
Today, the LGBT community are actively attempting to re-write history by describing homosexual liaisons in ancient times as ‘same-sex unions’. The term ‘same-sex union’ did not exist till the 20th century to refer to a union of a same sex couple where the same rights of marriage are bestowed – but short of calling it a marriage. Using the term ‘same-sex union’ gives it the impression that these homosexual liaisons were somehow blessed by the state in ancient times. This is so far from the truth. Ancient documents have NEVER sanctioned these illicit liaisons as ‘marriages’. These documents simply record such liaisons and debauchery but have NEVER ever equated them to ‘marriage’ or ‘same-sex union’ as we understand in modern times. This is true also for the Bible where it records homosexuality and those practising it but the Bible never sanctions or approves of this behaviour.
Roman records also describe the sexual perversions and practices of its people and emperors who engaged in all kinds of sexual orgies (including homosexuality) but these records never equate these sexual perversions as a ‘union’ or ‘marriage’.
The refusal of same-sex proponents to even consider these texts in their crusade to re-engineer marriage and society is evident of research bias. Their incessant claims that marriage does not have a religious basis is inherently false since its foundations is found, and can only be found in religious historical text.
- Montague, Ashley S. (1959), The Cultured Man (New York: Permabooks), p.240.
- Ghose, Tia (2013) History of Marriage: 13 Surprising Facts
- Huxley, A., Ends and Means, 1937, pp. 270.