The whole depressing debate about gay marriage in the French and UK press often misses an important lesson from history.
Frequently commentators make reference to some earlier golden age of tolerance, somehow suggesting that this idea of gay marriage is nothing new. One suspects that they just use google search to find as many spurious examples as they can of close friendships in history and literature and then attempt to make them fit their progressive arguments.
The problem is that even the most liberal societies one can find in history in regard to tolerance of homosexual relationships (starting with the Greek Golden Age) all have one piece of shared common sense: they have never entertained for a minute the notion that such relationships can be the basis of family life and society. That reticence on the part of ancient societies should give us pause for thought.