Letters: LGBT in history

I write this letter in response to John Bambenek’s Dec. 9 Column, “The Wrong Question.”

In this column, Bambenek asserts that same-sex marriage is not a historical institution. Bambenek’s assertion is incorrect and misrepresents a wealth of historical fact. Among numerous cultures, marriage has historically been recognized between two members of the same physical sex. The Winyantehca (Winkte) and Nadleehe of Lakota and Navajo culture (respectively) were regularly married to other men. Currently, there is a Navajo movement to preserve historical marriage rights for same-sex couples (the Dine Coalition for Cultural Preservation).

For information on the history of same-sex marriage in Europe, I recommend that interested readers look into John Boswell’s “Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe,” in which Boswell examines same-sex marriages performed in ancient Rome and Greece, and ceremonies performed by the Catholic and Orthodox churches even into the middle ages. Bambenek’s argument is uninformed and misrepresents factual history.

Bambenek owes an apology to the LGBT community and to all students of historic, social science and cultural studies. I suggest that Mr. Bambenek inform himself before attempting to inform others.

Kevin Cates

junior in LAS