Medieval Facts & Myths: Marriages between men?
Were marriages between men accepted in Medieval England?
The short answer is yes.
For a brief period of time before the 13th century, legal unions between men based on mutual love were recognized by the church in ceremonies that included joining hands at the altar, the recital of marriage prayers, and a ceremonial kiss. In England these unions were called an affrerement contract. (A “brotherment” in English.)
The affrerement included a written agreement between two men to form one household and share all their property in the years to come. The contract was not designed to condone same-sex love relationships. But this fig leaf for gay marriage became so small that the bigotry against same-sex relationships eventually won out and they were banned.
The LGBT characters in King Robin reflect the oppression prevalent in England following the ban on affrerement relationships. But just as today, many were important contributors to their societies who faced prejudices with courage and dignity.
Medieval Facts & Myths is a blog series featuring KING ROBIN, a novel by R. A. Moss releasing February 2021 from Beck and Branch Publishers.