Perhaps Steve Clemons should stick to foreign policy.  Affrerement, like adelphopoiesis in Byzantium (the terms mean the same thing), is not what the Boswells of the world would like us to think that it is, namely a medieval stamp of approval for homosexual relations.  Byzantinists understand that ceremonies for adelphopoiesis were not ceremonial approvals of homosexual erotic relationships, which neither secular nor ecclesiastical authorities would have approved, but were instead rites designed to formalise a strong social and emotional bond between men or as a mechanism for adoption.  It is strange that some moderns should have such difficulty imagining such fraternal bonds between friends.