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 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)
“Our home has been nothing but a play-room. Ive been your doll-wife here, just as at home I was Papas doll-child. And the children have been my dolls in their turn. I liked it when you came and played with me, just as they liked it when I came and played with them. Thats what our marriage has been, Torvald.”
—Henrik Ibsen (18281906)
“Why dont you go home to your wife? Ill tell you what. Ill go home to your wife and outside of the improvements, youll never know the difference. Pull over to the side of the road there and let me see your marriage license.”
—S.J. Perelman, U.S. screenwriter, Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, and Norman Z. McLeod. Groucho Marx, Horsefeathers, a wisecrack made to Huxley Colleges outgoing president (1932)