Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that creates kinship. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but is usually an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. Such a union is often formalized via a wedding ceremony. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to two persons of opposite sex or gender in the gender binary, and some of these allow polygynous marriage. Since 2000, several countries and some other jurisdictions have legalized same-sex marriage. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity.
People marry for many reasons, including: legal, social, being in love, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious. Marriages can be performed in a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting. The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved. Some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through divorce or annulment. Polygamous marriages may also occur in spite of national laws.
Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community or peers. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution irrespective of religious affiliation, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction. Forced marriages are illegal in some jurisdictions.
Read more about Marriage: Definitions, Etymology, History of Marriage By Culture, Same-sex Marriage, Group Marriage, Selection of A Partner, Marriage Ceremony, Cohabitation, Sex and Procreation, Marriage Law, Marriage and Religion, Financial Considerations, Termination, Temporary Marriages, Post-marital Residence, Power and Gender Roles
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Famous quotes containing the word marriage:
“Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient.”
—Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (16941778)
“And what if my descendants lose the flower
Through natural declension of the soul,
Through too much business with the passing hour,
Through too much play, or marriage with a fool?”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“We hope the day will soon come when every girl will be a member of a great Union of Unmarried Women, pledged to refuse an offer of marriage from any man who is not an advocate of their emancipation.”
—Tennessee Claflin (18461923)