Theaim of this chapter is to provide a broad overview of homosexuality as a topical issue across civilisations and time. As discussion on same sex marriage would necessarily require an understanding of its gradual development in human societies, it would inevitably require some background information on the phenomenon of homosexuality as conducive ground for the growth of same sex marriage. This chapter further explains the meanings surrounding these concepts and a historical overview of their development, from the era of their condemnation to that of tolerance, acceptance and, recently in some jurisdictions, legal protection.
1.1 Definition and Meaning
Homosexuality has been defined as sexual attraction to (or sexual relations with) persons of the same gender ; erotic activity with another of the same sex . Homosexual‘ is a combination of Greek and Latin terms. Homo (Greek) means same‘, and the term properly connotes sexual relationship between persons of the same sex. Homosexuality‘ is a term coined by a Hungarian doctor, Karl Maria Benkert in the mid-nineteenth century. ‗It was first put to use to express defiance and indignation at bigotry, ignorance and intolerance towards the male genital body in its male-tomale genital relations.‘ Over the years, people have used several pejorative words to identify this activity believed by many to be abnormal. The shades of words employed over the centuries include: homoeroticism, homophilia, paraphilia, pederasty, buggery , sodomy9etc.
Each of these concepts, synonymous as they are now regarded, shows, on careful examination, the progressive evolution in the societal psyche regarding same sex relationship.
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A LEGAL AND JURISPRUDENTIAL ANALYSIS OF HOMOSEXUALITY AND SAME SEX MARRIAGES: SUPPORTING THE NIGERIAN POSITIION