“..As for “traditional” marriage, what exactly does that look like?
Is it polygyny (where a man can have multiple wives) – the marriage form found in more places and at more times than any other – and which was acceptable in biblical times?
Does it include the beating of wives, once lawful in “traditional” marriages? Or the prohibition against mixed-race marriages – which not so long ago in many parts of the US made it illegal for whites to marry blacks (as well as a bunch of alien “others”)?
As the American historian Stephanie Coontz argues in her fascinating 2005 book Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage – what we think of as traditional are actually relatively recent innovations.
For example, the “tradition” that marriage has to be licensed by the state or sanctioned by the church.
“In Ancient Rome the difference between cohabitation and legal marriage depended solely upon the partners’ intent.
Even the Catholic Church long held that if a man and woman said they had privately agreed to marry … they were in fact married.
For more than 1000 years the church just took their word for it.”
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