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Also, though there was no official marriage within religious communities, long lasting relationships or bonds were made.
Even in areas where homosexual relationships were not recognized, through the end of the twelfth century there was a strong tradition in Christian beliefs that viewed and judged homosexuality and heterosexuality by the same standards.
The main approach to Christian sexuality held an opposing view.
Under this approach, sex was only meant for procreation purposes.
For example, a high status male could penetrate another person, male or female, without damage to his social status; but for him to be penetrated by any person could possibly result in a loss of status.
On the other hand, a slave's social status, or that of any other free male of a similar class status, would not be affected by any sexual act as long as the intercourse did not happen with another person the slave's owner allowed him to, or as long as it did not happen with an adult male citizen.
Before the Medieval period early Romans tolerated alternative sexual practices, such as masturbation in males and females and homosexuality.
Generally, by at least the twelfth century, homosexuality was considered sodomy and was punishable by death.
Indeed, he considered it second only to bestiality as an abuse of sexuality. For Roman citizens, marriage was a duty and was not meant for the purpose of fulfilling erotic needs.
Therefore, it was considered normal for a male to look for sexual fulfillment outside marriage, though females did not have such liberty.
However, the natural law of many aspects of life is knowable apart from special revelation by examining the forms and purposes of those aspects. Standards of human behavior were based on fulfillment of social expectations; for example, being a good citizen and bringing honor to one's family.
It is in this sense that Aquinas considered homosexuality unnatural, since it involves a kind of partner other than the kind to which the purpose of sexuality points. It was considered one's duty to carry on the family line by marrying and raising children, regardless of sexual orientation.