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Formalized consensual and contractual relationships between individuals

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity (in-laws and other family through marriage). The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but typically it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is known as a wedding.


A Clarion Call for Health Independence, by Wendy McElroy, 31 Jan 2007
A review of the movie Lorenzo's Oil (1992), exploring its main themes
Augusto (Nick Nolte) and Michaela (Susan Sarandon) Odone watch in horror as their only son, Lorenzo, rapidly degenerates from a disease so rare that no one is pursuing a cure. ... The movie's themes are haunting. ... The power of marriage is an equally strong theme. It is inconceivable that the Odones could have endured Lorenzo's illness, their financial difficulties, and the scorn of the world without having each other. Especially today when marriage (or partnership) is often viewed as disposable, it is heartening to view a family who will never abandon or give up on itself.
Gay Marriage Quicksand, by Ron Paul, Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk, 1 Mar 2004
Comments on the George W. Bush announcement that he endorses a constitutional amendment "defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife"
Marriage is first and foremost a religious matter, not a government matter. ... Marriage and divorce laws have always been crafted by states. In an ideal world, state governments enforce marriage contracts and settle divorces, but otherwise stay out of marriage. ... But the Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, explicitly authorizes states to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. ... Nationalizing marriage laws will only grant more power over our lives to the federal government, even if for supposedly conservative ends.
Related Topic: Reserved Powers
Libertarians unite to elect Badnarik, by Ron Strom, WorldNetDaily, 14 Jul 2004
Presents quotes from a WorldNetDaily interview with Badnarik after his nomination, together with commentary on the 2004 presidential election
What about same-sex marriage? Badnarik believes the state should get out of the marriage business altogether. "All individuals have the right to contract and to fall in love without whomever they choose," he explained. "It is clearly not a government issue. "Most people don't know that the first marriage licenses were instituted ... to prevent interracial marriages." He said now, interracial marriages don't raise an eyebrow. "The current uproar about same-sex marriage is just another form of bigotry," Badnarik stressed, saying the belief that if homosexuals marry society will crumble is "just paranoid nonsense."
Marry and Let Marry, by Sheldon Richman, 3 Mar 2004
Comments on George W. Bush's proposed constitutional amendment to forbid same-sex marriage licenses
Even if one believes that the definitions of words are set in stone (a dubious proposition) and that marriage for all eternity means a joining of a man and a woman, it is not clear how marriages so defined are threatened by same-sex unions called "marriages" by the civil authority ... As a man married to a woman, I cannot see how my marriage, or marriage itself, is endangered if gay men or lesbians marry and their marriages are accepted by the authorities for tax and other civil purposes ... Marriage originated outside of government. Why is it any of the government's business now? Put marriage in the private realm ...
Playboy Interview: Ayn Rand, by Ayn Rand, Alvin Toffler, Playboy, Mar 1964
Topics discussed include objectivism ethics, guilt, having a productive or creative purpose, emotions, women and family, romantic love, sex, marriage, religion, compassion, other writers, government, various politicians and altruism
I consider marriage a very important institution, but it is important when and if two people have found the person with whom they wish to spend the rest of their lives—a question of which no man or woman can be automatically certain. When one is certain that one’s choice is final, then marriage is, of course, a desirable state.
The Poison Called Nationalism, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 6 Feb 2015
Discusses nationalism as exhibited by those who defend sniper Chris Kyle as a hero (in response to the earlier article "The American Sniper Was No Hero", 28 Jan 2015)
[If] you've seen American Sniper ... you heard Kyle's wife, Taya, reject that claim ... As Kyle gets ready for yet another tour in Iraq, his unhappy wife asks why he is going back. "For you," he says, and by extension, America. "No you're not," she fires back. He also [tells] his wife that being away from home for another long stretch would not be a problem because their family could spare the time and the Iraqis could not. She didn't buy that line either. She is deeply disturbed that her husband would rather try to fix Iraq (as though he and his comrades could do that through military force) than look after his family.
Related Topics: Government, Iraq War, United States
The Post Office as a Violation of Constitutional Rights, by Wendy McElroy, The Freeman, May 2001
Prompted by the announcement of the U.S. Postal Service eBillPay service (now discontinued), surveys the history of mail service vis-à-vis civil rights, from colonial days to the present
... Anthony Comstock ... defined obscenity in such a manner as to include ... discussion of sexual issues, such as whether forced sex within marriage was rape. ... In 1877, Ezra Heywood ... was arrested for distributing a ... pamphlet titled 'Cupid’s Yokes,' which advocated the abolition of marriage and contained a scathing personal denunciation of Comstock. ... In 1887, the editor and publisher of Lucifer the Light Bearer, Moses Harman, was arrested for publication of a letter that identified forced sex within marriage as rape. The grand jury indicted Lucifer on 270 counts of obscenity under the Comstock Act ...
The Roots of Individualist Feminism in 19th-Century America, by Wendy McElroy
Introduction to Freedom, Feminism, and the State, a collection of 22 essays edited by McElroy
In the early 19th century, married women could not enter into contracts without their husband's consent, women lost all title to property or future earnings upon marriage, children were legally controlled by the father, and women were often without recourse against kidnapping or imprisonment by husbands and other male relatives ... On February 23, 1887, the staff of Lucifer was arrested for the publication of three letters. One ... described the plight of a woman whose husband forced sex upon her even though it tore the stitches from a recent operation. It is an early analysis of rape within marriage.
Test your freedom IQ, The Orange County Register, 18 Jun 2006
20 multiple-choice questions covering the role of government, free enterprise, taxes, property rights, free speech, religion, civil liberties, transportation, war and foreign policy, the Nanny State, gun ownership, education and immigration
11. You are convinced that marriage between homosexuals would not only be disruptive of society but is morally wrong. Do you:
a) Support a U.S. constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage?
b) Do everything in your power to convince homosexuals you know not to seek marriage ...
c) Use your powers of persuasion to get others to agree with you but decide that outlawing same-sex marriage is as unwise as making it mandatory, and question whether it should be the state's job to license marriage at all?
d) Support a state initiative declaring marriage is only valid between a man and a woman?
Voltairine de Cleyre |, by Sharon Presley, Libertarian Review, Mar 1979
Biographical essay, discussing Cleyre's life, views on anarchism and marriage, and contrasting her to Emma Goldman
The subject of marriage was one of Voltairine's favorite topics. Though she valued love, she totally rejected formal marriage, considering it 'the sanction for all manner of bestialities' and the married woman 'a bonded slave.' Her own unfortunate experiences with most of her lovers, who, even without the ties of formal marriage, treated her as sex object and servant, convinced Voltairine that even living with a man was to be avoided. When she learned that William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecroft (her heroine) had lived in separate apartments even though they were lovers, she was delighted.
Why I Am Not a 'Conservative', by Vin Suprynowicz, 13 Jun 2006
Examines the words "conservative" and "liberal", pointing out that Democrats are in fact the former while being called the latter, and then looks at Republicans and how far they have strayed from their supposed principles
Oh, the Republicans mouth some pious platitudes about "family values": stopping gays from getting married, protecting us from Janet Jackson's breast ... They won't even do the one thing that might really reduce the abortion rate they keep moaning about: end all aid to families with dependent children ("You need a husband, not a case worker") ...; encourage kids to cram for an exit exam, graduate, enter the job market, marry and start properly supporting legitimate families when they're 16–and already having sex and getting pregnant anyway, almost as though that's what Nature's God intended.


Interview with Gary Becker, by Gary Becker, Douglas Clement, The Region, Jun 2002
Topics discussed include the economics of crime, economics and law, banking discrimination, economic education, social security, behavioral economics, sociology, career choices and moral hazards
BECKER: ... The family is such an important institution in society. It has evolved so much ... There are many interesting areas of family law ... For example, should two homosexuals have the right to be parents of a child? Should they have legal rights for marriage? What should be the role of marriage contracts, of custody provisions? ... How many people sit down before they marry and say, oh these are the reasons I should marry this woman, these are reasons why I should not marry her, then weigh these and see if the pluses exceed the minuses? Very few people do that.
Starting a Brush Fire for Freedom: An interview with US Rep. Ron Paul, by Ron Paul, John W. Whitehead, oldSpeak, 9 Feb 2004
Topics include: being a lone wolf in Congress, the Patriot Act and related legislation, George W. Bush, the Iraq War, conservatives and neo-cons, the federal debt, education and the Constitution
... I believe that the marriage/family unit is serving one of the most important functions. It should be the family and the parents who are raising the children, rather than the government. However, the notion that our government should—to the tune of a billion and half dollars—tell people why they ought to be married is ludicrous. ... the odds of this making people aware of the fact that marriage is a good idea is absurd. Can you imagine the founders of our country placing in the Constitution the notion that government should promote marriage? The more I think about it, the sillier I think it is.


Open Marriage: A New Life Style for Couples
    by George O'Neill, Nena O'Neill, 1972

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Marriage" as of 4 Dec 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.