Caribbean Queens

Gay marriage, it turns out, is a lot older than people think: In Phillip Bobbit’s Terror and Consent there’s a discussion of the practice, common amongst 17th century pirates, called matelotage,

“a formal, often contractual permanent union between two consenting adult men. These men, known as each other’s matelot jointly owned land and possessions, fought side by side, and nursed each other when ill. Matelots often drew up contracts stipulating that if one were to die, the other would inherit all his property, but even when contracts were not made, matelotage was such a prevalent practice that the surviving matelot was often awarded the property anyway.”

(thanks to the Handcaper for the pointer)