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
Famous quotes containing the word marriage:
“The parent who loves his child dearly but asks for nothing in return might qualify as a saint, but he will not qualify as a parent. For a child who can claim love without meeting any of the obligations of love will be a self-centered child and many such children have grown up in our time to become petulant lovers and sullen marriage partners because the promise of unconditional love has not been fulfilled.”
—Selma H. Fraiberg (20th century)
“Either marriage is a destiny, I believe, or there is no sense in it at all, its a piece of humbug.”
—Max Frisch (19111991)
“The reason why women effect so little and are so shallow is because their aims are low, marriage is the prize for which they strive; if foiled in that they rarely rise above disappointment ... [ellipsis in source]”
—Sarah M. Grimke (17921873)