Michele Bachmann’s Gay Marriage Gaffe
Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann received a lot of media flack last month after incorrectly stating to a New Hampshire audience that the first shots of the American Revolution were fired there, rather than in Massachusetts. But don’t expect the same scrutiny for her latest bumble on the history of gay marriage.
In a speech delivered today in Iowa, the potential Republican presidential contender said, "In 5,000 years of recorded human history ... neither in the East or in the West ... has any society ever defined marriage as anything other than between men and women. Not one in 5,000 years of recorded human history. That's an astounding fact and it isn't until the last 12 years or so that we have seen for the first time in recorded human history marriage defined as anything other than between men and between women."
Since Bachmann and her aides failed to do a simple Google search on the beginning of the American Revolution, it should come as little surprise that they neglected to check her “facts” prior to delivering today’s speech. Had they done so, they would have learned that the first documented same-sex marriage between two men took place in Spain on April 16, 1061. The two men, Pedro Díaz and Muño Vandilaz, were married by a priest in a small chapel, according to historic documents about the church wedding found at Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova. With just a little bit more research, Bachmann and her staff would have discovered that same-sex unions, ranging from the informal to the highly ritualized, have existed since China’s Zhōu Dynasty (1046-256 BCE).
Since the mainstream media has shown little interest in covering the history of same-sex unions thus far, Bachmann's assertion is likely to go unchallenged. Although, Rachel Maddow may find this story worth reporting.