Talk:Marriage/Archive 14

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 10 Archive 12 Archive 13 Archive 14 Archive 15


Rights and obligations between the spouses and their in-laws (lede)

That is not necessary correct, the rights and obligations that marriage confers depend by culture, but in many places there are no rights and obligations re in-laws. Also you'll have to differentiate between the obligations from the marital contract and the 'social' obligations - expectations rather than imposed by the contract.2A02:2F01:1059:F001:0:0:50C:DDCC (talk) 01:17, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

While there may be no "laws" regarding it, there was an expectation that orphaned children (often small children without a mother, father still alive) would be "taken care of" by relatives or in-laws. Just ran across a case in my extended family where the mother died, the baby taken in and eventually kept by an aunt. The child adopted his new parents name, when his father died. I doubt there was anything formal. Student7 (talk) 20:14, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Attentive request for the source

I would like to draw attention to the fact that the article begins with a characteristic sentence that can be equated as a definition of the term "marriage", which is described later in this article.(reference)Talk:Marriage#Doesn't make sense, quote: (...) Marriage: being re-defined on Wikipedia instead of just defining it for what it has always been.(endref) And since we are at Wikipedia we must follow the recommendations requiring direct quotation, particularly in the field of definition, if verifiability of material has been challenged or likely to be challenged (see WP:V). Therefore I kindly request Wikipedians involved in creating and development of this article to point the source (or sources) that directly supports the following phrase: "marriage is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that creates kinship". This phrase as being highly representative in the relevant context without stating its source might be regarded as original research.(ref)Talk:Marriage/Archive 9#Kinship, quote: (...) It is an "invented here" Wikipedia definition with no reference or source.(endref) (see also WP:OR). I do not want yet insert a template because I prefer to explain the raised issues on the talk page in a quiet friendly atmosphere. --Robsuper (talk) 12:20, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

After six-week waiting for a response I placed now in the article two templates: 'Refimprove' & 'Citation needed span' with the reason defined as "This claim requires an explicit reference to the source of its origin". Please do not interpret my actions in this case as an attempt to challenge the good will of editors involved in the creation of the article. I still believe that my doubts about the correctness of the sources used for the definition can be explained on the talk page. --Robsuper (talk) 11:19, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

The lead has the difficult task of describing something for which there does not exist a widely-accepted definition (as the second sentence says explicitly and the Definitions section amply demonstrates). The various components of the lead sentence description seem rather uncontentious, so I doubt it will be too hard to find supporting sources.--Trystan (talk) 14:42, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Kindly thank you for your response to my entry into the discussion. At the beginning I would like to justify my shortcomings in scope of the English language and ask your pardon and attention when I make mistakes. Before I answer I would at first place think about it thoroughly and only then make the translation into English. --Robsuper (talk) 21:32, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Thus this article begins with a lead sentence that is not a definition, but only a certain generalization of the concept. Am I right? If you agree with me at this point would you be so kind to point me other articles in Wikipedia in where the lack of widely-accepted definition has been resolved in the same, or similar way? --Robsuper (talk) 13:34, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, one article I have experience with that also lacks a clear definition is Role-playing game. Like marriage, there are many theories as to what a role-playing game is exactly, and they don't agree with each other. The lead therefore describes in general terms what an RPG is, but the lead sentence is not sufficient as a definition.--Trystan (talk) 14:44, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Article which you point out contains at the very beginning an elegant definition of "role-playing game". Moreover, what you wrote, "there are many theories as to what a role-playing game is exactly" is, in my humble opinion, rather academic rhetoric, with all my respect. That what you call a leading sentence is an excellent and strictly encyclopedic definition of that concept - while certain continued description (sometimes extensive) is other issue. Encyclopedia which is based on sources - like Wikipedia - should be created according to the scheme: "We should first place the term defined, then acquire its sourced definition and finally give an extended description, if necessary." --Robsuper (talk) 19:43, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
You may consider the lead sentence of Role-playing game to be a satisfactory definition, but our reliable sources do not. They explicitly state that there is no simple definition, but rather a collection of attributes which roughly delineate the concept. It is the same with this article. It would make things much simpler for us if the sources agreed upon a clear definition, but it simply isn't the case.--Trystan (talk) 23:07, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I noticed that you have used the term "no simple definition." So I can believe that the main problem here is the complexity, or the shape of definition or in other words: way of defining the concept for the purposes of encyclopedia. And Wikipedia, which itself is a compendium of the third order, is based on knowledge acquired from higher level sources. And therefore if someone proves me that we cannot formulate a definition which - let's call it - satisfying everyone or is commonly-accepted, because sources do not provide any such, and some of them announce it's difficult to provide it, then I answer that this is rhetoric in terms of academic eg philosophy - in practice the definition is always available from reliable sources. And now referring directly to your posts makes me to suppose that statement "The variety of role playing games makes it inherently challenging to provide a common definition." originating from a cited source, you treat as an outset for the actual impossibility to create definition to which you would like assign the (nomen-omen) attribute widely-accepted. Besides this, seems to me also that on the assumption of lack of unanimity of sources and still going forward to this end we make fraud of rules of Wikipedia, namely the attempt to replace the existing and workable definition with certain different formulation, say lead sentence. If you agree with me on this point, please also note that leading sentence can easily drift into the direction of a generalized, or universal definition. In Wikipedia, based strictly on reliable sources, this is unfavorable effect because it reduces the value of its merits, and in the long term can make Wikipedia unreliable partner. Not missed my attention to important words that were used:
- Like marriage, there are many theories as to ...
- It is the same with this article...
They show that in the case of articles "marriage" and "role-playing game" you see relevant similarities as to the method of defining these concepts in Wikipedia. But I think that had our talk concerned the concepts belonging to the same field of knowledge then we could make such assumption, and our discussion would look different. --Robsuper (talk) 13:29, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm afraid that the only thing that will convince me that it is possible to write a definition that agrees with our reliable sources is for someone do so, and then establish consensus around it. I've read and reread the sources on this particular point, and no simple solution has occurred to me; they are simply too much in disagreement to simply reconcile. My point in entering this conversation was only to establish that I don't view the lead sentence as a definition, and I am fine with that.--Trystan (talk) 14:38, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I have some question: Is it really, looking at the available and reliable sources, these achivements of anthropology actually provide a starting point for consideration on the phenomenon named marriage? If the answer is yes then this article, in my opinion, can be considered to be compatible with reliable sources, and correct "as a whole" - we received a compendium of knowledge about marriage seen primarily from the perspective of cultural anthropology and sociology.
However, it could be risky assumption that anthropology represents the major interpretation describing marriage for the purposes of encyclopedias, and thus also for Wikipedia. We can assume that anthropology is probably an appropriate tool to study the effects of the presence, actions and shape of marriage in human societies - perceived and understood as a social institution. For the purpose of such research is necessary "clean up the marriage" of influences of cultures, customs, religion - we get the "extract of marriage," or anthropological definition. Such a definition is a certain point of view on marriage, of course. We must now ask the question: what is the position of such an anthropological point of view on marriage in the ranking of reliable sources? We must always remember that on Wikipedia we are obliged to faithfully balance reliable, published sources. --Robsuper (talk) 13:10, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Sources for lead sentence

In the interest of addressing the citation needed tag on the lead sentence, I've been looking for reliable sources to cite. My suggestion is that we change the lead sentence to:

Marriage is a is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that may establish rights and obligations between the spouses, between the spouses and their children, and between a spouse and their spouse's family.[1]

This wording expands upon and clarifies the "kinship" wording, accords generally (as closely as I think is possible) with the various definitions discussed in the article, and flows well into the second sentence, "The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures..." Alternatively, if anyone can suggest a good source for the current "kinship" wording, we could stay with that.--Trystan (talk) 19:52, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Haviland, William A.; Prins, Harald E. L.; McBride, Bunny; Walrath, Dana (2011). Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge (13th ed.). Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0-495-81178-7.  "A nonethnocentric definition of marriage is a culturally sanctioned union between two or more people that establishes certain rights and obligations between the people, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws."
The use of "spouse's family" is at best awkward, because in at least the cultures that come to mind, a spouse's family is your family. Marriage as a family-building institution seems key to its core. --Nat Gertler (talk) 14:35, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Do you have any sources that you could suggest to support the kinship wording? It's not well-supported by the sources I have been able to find, which generally describe marriage as establishing rights and responsibilities, rather than establishing kinship.--Trystan (talk) 16:47, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Parkin, Robert (1997). Kinship: An Introduction to the Basic Concepts. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0631203583.  (sdsds - talk) 04:54, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't have access to that work; how does it describe or define marriage?--Trystan (talk) 05:41, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Essentially as Haviland does. Anthropologists take the proper tack by asking not "What is marriage?" but rather, "How do we know when people are married?" The key insight is that we know people are married by the (affinal) kinship bonds between them and their in-laws. The indicators of kinship are in visible behaviors, so even when we don't know their language we can (almost universally in human societies) know they are married. Consider changing your wording to, "...between them and the consanguineal kin of their spouse." (sdsds - talk) 06:22, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
I think "consanguineal kin" may be a bit imposing for the lead sentence, and I'm not sure we should be specifically excluding second degree affines. Perhaps sticking with "in-laws" from the source is the best way to go?
Alternatively, we could leave out in-laws altogether. Haviland et al. seem relatively unique in their inclusion of it as part of their definition of marriage, and even they seem to suggest that it is a more or less optional part, as they speak immediately afterward about "the relative unimportance of marriage as the defining institution for establishing a family" in some cultures, including ones where it is "little more than a sexual relationship," though they do clarify it seems to always establish some form of rights and obligations between the spouses.
It's not my reading of Parkin that he is suggesting cross-cultural universality of in-law relationships; on the contrary, he states "While marriage in some societies is little more than an institutionalized or, at any rate, recognized relationship between two individuals, in others it is the axis of an alliance between families, descent groups or other social groupings...", which suggests that his immediately following discussion of affinity applies only to some cultures. That seems to agree closely with Haviland.--Trystan (talk) 05:36, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

"social union"

I think the wording "social union" should be removed. Because marriage is the legal concept (same as divorce), and the laws define the marriage as a contract forming a corporation with two parties with many financial implications attached. And nowhere in the laws in says that it is a "social union". And none of the books mentioned above can stand in court redefining marriage to any extent during the divorce procedures. Yurivict (talk) 23:27, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
In the sources we have that define marriage cross-culturally, I have not seen any that specify that it is always a legal contract. It is described as a union that is culturally recognized or sanctioned, but not as a necessarily legal institution. I don't think I have seen any definitions that describe it as a corporation. --Trystan (talk) 00:10, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
It is common sense that one can't come to court during divorce and say "Your honor, our marriage is a culturally recognized union and is all about love, not money, therefore you shouldn't rule that I have to pay half of what I own to the other party!". This is common sense that without the prenap contract divorce is all about financial obligations, and therefore marriage is also all about financial obligations, which means it is a contract. That's how legal system and government sees it. And there is a lot of talk, misconceptions, delusions, etc, partially reflected in these books. On the other note, googling "marriage is a union" returns 4.2 mil results and googling "marriage is a corporation" returns 7.4 mil results. Yurivict (talk) 00:36, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
It's nice that you took part in the discussion – in Wikipedia, as in life, matters every word spoken. Please note that we are here to specify the lead phrase of the Wikipedia article entitled "marriage." Template shown at the beginning of the article and the shaded opening sentence is my initiative. This way I'd like to inform the community about the problem which I've noticed: I believe that the opening sentence does not have actual reliable sources for its presence in this place or in such a form. While your observations and comments are mainly issues related to the problem of divorce. On the basis of common sense, you're moving on the idea that the legal issue, particularly divorce in the presence of court, is the basis for most appropriate interpretation of the concept of "marriage" (or at least I picked it, but I could be wrong as to your inner intention). Furthermore, you're suggesting that the word "corporation" would be more appropriate than the term "social union", and in support of such suggestion give number of so-called "results" of searches conducted by internet search engine Google. All this is okay, of course. However this discussion is related rather to the requirement to comply with the rules of Wikipedia in order to reach consensus, duly justified by reliable sources, due to the weight and compliance with a neutral point of view. To achieve this stakeholders need to discuss. --Robsuper (talk) 14:10, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that there is the consensus in society about the marriage as a concept. I tried to bring in the legal definition as a basis, because all countries have laws about marriage and they all (correct me if I am wrong) about the financial obligations between spouses. This is the definition of marriage legally, and IMO reasonable way to see it. Besides this there isn't much consensus because today people marry for any combination of reasons: love, religion, following traditions, calculation, fear of loneliness, peer pressure, demands by other parties, being persuaded by other parties, expectation of sex, because it is cheaper to live together, etc, etc. You can find tons of references for each of the above, but there will be no consensus of opinion in most societies. I am not sure what happens according to Wikipedia policies when there is no consensus even about the leading line of the article. Maybe that is what it should say: "Marriage is an institution that traditionally was a religious union between a woman and a man, but is currently in the state of morphing and can't be precisely defined." At least this is what it appears to be. Yurivict (talk) 02:33, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Anthropologists are "pretty sure" that people formed "couples" even before they knew where babies came from. So hundreds of thousands of years ago.
They only found out where babies came from when they started domesticating farm animals some 10,000 years ago or so. Then it became "religious" and "contractual." Women generally came with a dowry, returned to them at the end of the marriage (contractual). For that, they needed some judicial (civil) protection that would outlast the dowry bestower (parent). That would have been what we would call a court nowdays. I have no idea how to word an "institution" that really predates our own species and predates our knowledge of how pregnancy came about! Pretty basic, right? See Cultural universal which has a great circular reference to this article!  :)
I realize that we live in an age where we think we can jettison everything and replace it, but these "universals" (no one agreed-upon list, alas, but marriage on most, if not all lists) have existed for millenia and sometimes eons. Student7 (talk) 16:06, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Magic words

People called friends, people called siblings, people called spouses. Gentlemen, after all it is twisted, deceptive rhetoric. In Wikipedia literary language should be used, not "magic" words. In this article, the first sentence should write "between spouses" and not "between people called spouses". Or simply stick to the source, and use "culturally sanctioned union between two or more people" in place of "social union or legal contract between people called spouses". --Robsuper (talk) 13:00, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

I am in favour of getting rid of spouse in the lead sentence and saying marriage is between persons. The way it is currently written, it suggests that the label spouse has some inherent cross-cultural significance, rather than simply introducing some related English terminology. It would make more sense to simply say, later in the lead, "Parties to a marriage are called spouses." We should explain spouse in relation to marriage, rather than the other way around.
However, if we do keep the current wording, or in whatever we change it to, I would object to simply saying "between spouses...". Saying "between people called spouses" makes it clear that we are introducing a label for the persons involved, rather than conveying more meaningful information about marriage itself.--Trystan (talk) 17:27, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Proposal of text of the opening

Referring to the current form of the opening text (ie from the beginning to the first empty row) I would like to present a few comments and corrections:

  1. currently existing leading sentence is superfluous and should be removed
  2. a threatening euphemism "(...) jurisdictions limit marriage to two persons of opposite sex or gender in the gender binary(...)", should be replaced by a statement that reflects reliable sources: "(...) jurisdictions specify marriage as legal contract between two persons of opposite sex — a man and a woman, or opposite gender in the gender binary model(...)"
  3. added in proper place - you can see above - the mandatory words: a man and a woman
  4. issue of occurrence of polygyny and polyandry placed in a separate phrase
  5. minor stylistic corrections, moved to the last position the sentence: "Since 2000, several countries and some other jurisdictions have legalized same-sex marriage."
  6. minor stylistic corrections, shifted to an earlier position the sentence: "In some cultures, marriage is recommended or compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity."

Taking into account the above comments I would like to propose the following version of the text of the opening:

The concept of marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, depends upon culture, religion, society, state and legal system and is usually an institution in which interpersonal intimate and sexual relationships are accepted and have been endorsed. Such institution is usually formalized by the wedding ceremony. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions specify marriage as legal contract between two persons of opposite sex — a man and a woman, or opposite gender in the gender binary model. A small number of states allow polygyny, and some ethnic groups allow polyandry. In some social groups marriage is recommended, or sometimes compulsory before pursuing sexual activity. Since 2000, in several countries and other jurisdictions have been legalized same-sex marriage.

--Robsuper (talk) 13:28, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

  1. Marriage as formation of family hardly seems superfluous.
  2. Do most jurisdictions specify marriage in such a way? Is this achieved by specific wording, or is it simply that marriage in the jurisdiction is assumed to be mixed-sex? Have you a source?
  3. No, they aren't "mandatory words", and they aren't even appropriate, as some jurisdictions that want gender-binarism do not require adulthood. (Having said that, we should try to rid ourselves of the "gender binary" terminology in the lead; it's not commonly in-use terminology for laymen, and the opening should be understandable.)
  4. No comment, but I have to keep the numbering.
  5. Last sentence is problematic, as it suggests that same-sex marriage only exists since 2000, which doesn't atch various sources at same-sex marriage. --Nat Gertler (talk) 14:44, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for the response and smart observations and comments. May want to suggest your version of the opening text? Of course only if you believe that the current version should be improved. --Robsuper (talk) 14:09, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't have a specific proposal; I feel that the existing wording is better than what you propose. --Nat Gertler (talk) 22:15, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I see, it's okay. Am preparing a more extensive text for purposes of this discussion. However right now I would like to note that amazes me the term "aren't even appropriate" directed to the words "man and woman" in the context of marriage law. In Wikipedia we have to stick to the principle of NPOV and need to balance the overall message from reliable sources. I agree that issue "gender binary" is actually "phase of experiment," so may be muted in the generic description. The issue of relationship "marriage – family" is important and therefore the word "family" should be openly visible, instead of "kinship", but not right away in the initial phrase of the article. --Robsuper (talk) 14:16, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
I think legal definition should be taken as a leading line: "Marriage is a legal contract between people called spouses that creates a special form of corporation." Since the marriage can mean many things to different people/in different cultures, another section can be added describing possible meanings that people attach to marriage. Like "Religious definition of marriage", "Romantic definition of marriage", "Social definition of marriage". But none of these meanings can ever stand in court during divorce and change the legal definition of marriage, at least not in any developed country. So the legal one should be taken as a main one. Yurivict (talk) 23:54, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree that marriage is primarily a contract and not a "union". As stated above, marriage can mean different things to the spouses in it (and please note that the concept of romantic love as the basis of marriage is a relatively new one, historically marriages were arranged between families for economic, social, political etc considerations; and this continues to be the case in many countries today- in much of Asia, Africa). In fact, strictly speaking, marriage is a contract sanctioned and defined by the state; the terms of this contract vary between different jurisdictions and have varied historically.2A02:2F01:1059:F001:0:0:BC19:9E03 (talk) 01:36, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Marriage as a status predates the state involvement in it; while from the point of view of the law, marriage may be a contract, the law should not be the primary concern of the article. --Nat Gertler (talk) 02:48, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I understand what you're saying; but marriage has always been a form of 'contract', even if the meaning of a 'contract' was not what it is today, and even if the state was not involved - it was a 'contract' between the families involved, it was sanctioned by the community, clan etc. What I'm trying to say is that there were always strict rules about it, and deviations from the 'terms' of it were punished.2A02:2F01:1059:F001:0:0:BC19:9E03 (talk) 03:30, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

more specific please

"... is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses,.." That can be said far more specific. Do not be squeamish. -- (talk) 22:16, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

This is a locked article, please improve

By including a see also section, which links to other wikipedia articles, like: Marriage_in_the_United_States
~ender 2012-03-17 20:33:PM MST — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

No mention about love marriages vs arrange marriages

In many cultures love marriage has not been considered as good as arranged marriage.Below link could be added in the external links. Love Marriage vs Arrange Marriage — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iwantvarun (talkcontribs) 12:48, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

The information for handfasting is misleading, and incomplete

Whoever wrote this article mentions handfasting as a "Wiccan" marriage. Although neopaganism, specifically Wicca, has adopted handfasting as their tradition, it is one of the oldest forms of marriage in existence Wicca itself is less than 100 years old, and handfasting dates back thousands of years, so to just briefly mention Handfasting as the "Wiccan" ceremony is a bit insulting to the tradition.

Even Wikipedia's information on handfasting ( has much more accuracy on the subject. My wife and I performed a handfasting ceremony, not because of "new age" beliefs, but because I personally trace my ancestry to the Isle of Skye (Scotland), and it is specifically a culturally relevant choice for us. I would love to see this article updated to reflect that, and not just mention handfasting as a "Wiccan" ceremony. (talk) 21:06, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Prophet Malachi condemned divorce

By adding the sentence that the prophet Malachi condemned divorce and giving the Bible verse as a reference I did not intend to use the Bible as a factual source but simply as a reference. That was done in this article in a number of times, especially in the same section. In my opinion it is sensible to mention this at this place because the sentence before states that Israel did not have laws concerning marital fidelity. Even if there are no such laws a famous prophet demanded marital fidelity in Israel. For the Israelites not only their law was an authority but their prophets as well. Nikil44 (talk) 08:50, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Criticisms of marriage

Someone recently put some good work into expanding the Criticisms section. However, this is the parent article, and that section should just be a summary of criticism of marriage (per WP:main article), and the material that was added was not covered there. The editor should consider adding that material to criticism of marriage, and only putting here the most relevant summary of it. I've removed the addition. --Nat Gertler (talk) 18:03, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

That was "the most relevant summary of it". There are a huge number of criticisms of marriage, and the ones that I've put in the section are extremely important, and are currently not properly reflected in the short summary; and in my opinion their removal is nothing more that POV pushing - that is attempting to remove views on marriage that may not paint it as the nicest thing on earth. This however is an encyclopedic article, and, as such, it has to present the subject in a neutral way, not to attempt to promote it, as it appears to me that some editors are attempting to do. The current section "Criticism" fails to touch on many important issues. And if we are talking about section length, other sections such as "Marriage and religion" are huge, when a shortening of such sections and splitting them as main articles would do and is in my view warranted.Skydeepblue (talk) 18:46, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

The text that was removed was this:

Criticisms of marriage include:[1]

  • concerns about the well-being of women, since, in many parts of the world, not only that there is virtually no protection - in law or in practice - against domestic violence within marriage, but it is also nearly impossible for women to get out of an abusive marriage;
  • the powerful symbolic value of the institution of marriage as subordination of a woman to a man;
  • concerns that abusive practices are maintained and exacerbated by ideologies of ownership and entitlement in personal relations that derive from the principles of marriage;
  • the fact that the marital contract is drafted by the state, and not by the couple who gets married, and it may, at any time, be changed by the state, without the consent (or even knowledge) of the married people, and that the terms of the contract represent the interests of the governments (many of which may be theocratic, male dominated etc) and not of the couples.

If you think this is too long, than feel free to summarize it yourself, but these points have to be addressed here in the main article.Skydeepblue (talk) 18:52, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I am sorry if something in my posting confused you so badly that you felt the need to invent motivations for my editing. If those criticisms of marriage are so important that they need to be covered, then of course they belong in the criticism of marriage article. If they are among the most significant aspects of that article, then they should be summarized from there into this article. That's the way parent articles are best structured. Are there other aspects of this article that also need attention? Of course... but that doesn't mean that this section should therefor be handled incorrectly. --Nat Gertler (talk) 19:05, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
What do you mean by "then they should be summarized from there into this article". These points are already a summary of the huge amount of what's been written in the literature that criticizes marriage. If you think the points made are not sufficiently succinct, that feel free to rephrase and shorten them. As for the main criticism of marriage article, I have now moved this there.Skydeepblue (talk) 19:34, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
What I mean is that this article should present a summary of what the child article covers, that it should not be as in depth here as it is in the child article. That's a large part of the point of having child articles when dealing with topics as wide as marriage. --Nat Gertler (talk) 21:38, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

The historical truth of love and marriage

Cao Jing is a Chinese scholar and his On the Theory about the Belief of Love says that the true nature of marriage is a mechanism which controls the relationship between men and women, and marriage has no necessary relation with love, life, family and children. It also holds that marriage belongs to the controlling ethics and love belongs to the voluntary ethics. In ancient times, almost all the people in the world had arranged marriage and it emphasized that the ethics of marriage (controlling ethics) dominated all things about the relationship between men and women. For a long time, the ethics of love were removed under the influence of ancient ethics and became that “love is a preparation for marriage”. The logic is that love is a preparing process and sanctity can’t be got until the marriage. Actually love can produce sanctity itself if you wish. You can find that there are many descriptions about arranged marriage and no description about premarital love when you see the ancient ethics and Christian “Bible”. Arranged marriage happened in all the ancient Christians and later it had changed into the idea that “love is a preparation for marriage”. This idea had influenced the whole world, but it did not admit that love can produce sanctity and it also thought that love is just a selection process. Today the so-called marriage oath is actually the love oath which can be made before marriage, and sanctity can be produced similarly. If the true nature of marriage is about control, then the arranged marriage is perhaps the true face of marriage. Most of the control force had been weakened when arranged marriage obliterated. However, this phrase “arranged marriage” was invented by the modern people while the ancient people may think the marriage was naturally to be arranged.

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. RudolfRed (talk) 21:05, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Hello, The above article is written by myself.The above article is probably the meaning of the entire article.I hope the above article incorporated into the entry.You need to copyrights proof?Kind of how?I have the copyright certificate of the Chinese government, the other part is the e-mail time to prove.I have throughout this article, there is a lot of evidence, as well as a philosophical discourse.Hope my translation allows you to understand.Proof of my copyrights are Chinese. A record on the Wikipedia website — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bbfbbfbbf115 (talkcontribs) 18:22, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

If the article is in English, it would be better. It could then be summarized by you (preferably someone else) into the article. It has to be demonstrated that you are a notable WP:RS. "Copyright" doesn't mean that we can't summarize it, but does mean that we can't quote extensively from it. It means we can't copy it verbatim. There is no mechanism to give this copyright up to Wikipedia. There are mechanisms for putting it in the public domain, but it may not be worth the effort.
If in Chinese, this makes it a bit difficult because almost nobody can verify it. This would be fine if it were a Chinese topic like "Forbidden City" or something, but this is a topic on which there are a lot of English scholars and it would be easier for the rest of us if something similar can be found in English. It would be nice if it were online. I am just giving my opinion only.
Having said that, inserting it in the Chinese Wikipedia article on Marriage sounds plausible. Again, online would probably help there too. Student7 (talk) 19:23, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

English Common Law marriage in history section

What is said at the bottom of the Europe section isn't correct. Contemporary English Common law (as used today in England) doesn't define marriage at all. Better to remove this paragraph but keep the later link to Common law marriage where it is better described. The Edvard Westermarck proposition should also be removed as it adds no value and is out of place in the European history of marriage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Riverrock83 (talkcontribs) 18:11, 6 March 2013 (UTC)


Contrasting the laws of wealthy countries laws with wealth-challenged countries seems like significant information. Wording is problematic. Calling a country "developed" economically when an editor agrees with its laws, and undeveloped when he doesn't, seems WP:POV. Why is the West declining when an editor disagrees with the West, but "progressive/progressing" when he agrees? I'll grant that npov language is a bit hard to come by. But please be try to be objective. Thanks. Student7 (talk) 23:16, 10 March 2013 (UTC)


This article has a strongly American and presentist ( bias. It acts as if polygamy had hardly been thought of throughout history ( and the poor Mormons are the only ones who have heard of this practice. (talk) 13:07, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree. Polygamy is legal in 49 states, yet this article largely ignores it. Both sources to the statement that it is not widely practised are not proper - one is a dead link, the other a translation of a medieval chinese novel. Polygamy is an essential aspect of marriage, and should not be ignored or sidelined to suit American Christian prejudices. (talk) 21:19, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
According to the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, of 1,231 societies noted, from 1960 to 1980, 186 were monogamous. 453 had occasional polygyny, 588 had more frequent polygyny, and 4 had polyandry. - makes this article look well biased!!! (talk) 21:34, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Widows in India

Exceptional claims need exceptional sources, the CNN story about "Widows in Vrindavan" which states "Ostracized by society, thousands of India's widows flock to the holy city of Vrindavan waiting to die." cannot be used to make a general statement about India as a whole, 82% of Vrindivan widows, are from West Bengal or Bangladesh, i.e. are Bengali according to a study, the older ones have been widowed decades ago, they stay in Vrindivan for reasons of piety.[2] These widows represent a problem that exists in a tiny part of India, Burdwan and Nadia districts of West Bengal. The institutions are also "homes" for destitute married women. More married women than widows were found at a "bhajan ashram". [3] Yogesh Khandke (talk) 09:46, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Split "Marriage and religion" section

The section "Marriage and religion" must be split into a new article (titled Marriage and religion or something like this). This article is much too long and it will likely become even longer in the future, and editors are likely to continue to add to the section on religion, so a main article about it is appropriate. If nobody objects I will implement the change.Skydeepblue (talk) 01:10, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

as opposed to Marriage and state, or marriage and custom? If it needs to be split, probably should be by religion - marriage and islam, marriage and christianity, marriage and hinduism, marriage and mormonism, etc. (talk) 22:58, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
The problem is summarizing it here. Which is triggering the problem in the first place. If you move it and no one will permit small religions to be "summarized out," what has been gained? We would now have two articles (per religion) to maintain with identical material. (I did this once somewhere else BTW.) Student7 (talk) 22:53, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
At the moment the section on Christianity is too long, and probably deserves its own article. Smaller religions need more detail, and even the small ones mentioned are major religions. If there is to be an "Abrahamic Religions" section it is logical that judaism should be first in it. Polygyny section is in the wrong place, should add the material to "number of spouses in a marriage" section, including Islamic practice, and it is not a religion! Yoruba and other important religions are completely ignored, and a strong impression is given of the cultural superiority of modern Western religion. (talk) 01:19, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 3 April 2013

In "Ethymology", when you say ir first appeared, you should say first appeared in Europe. In the jewish culture the word is very much older... it appeared before Christ. Moses used it first. (talk) 02:40, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Do you have a source for this curious claim? -Nat Gertler (talk) 19:28, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. —KuyaBriBriTalk 15:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 4 April 2013

Please change the first line stating "Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses, between the spouses and their children, and between the spouses and their in-laws." to say "Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses." and remove the citation as the citation is not completely factual. It is the citation authors opinion that marriage also includes "between the spouses and their children, and between the spouses and their in-laws" and upon using basic logic, it is untrue. For example, parents do not need to be married for a father to be held financially legally responsible for his children therefor marriage is not necessary to establish rights. Also, marriage does not create any sort of legal responsibility for anyone outside of the marriage, especially in-laws. Muchomachoman (talk) 11:41, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. —KuyaBriBriTalk 15:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Property inheritance

If you're good in writing, please suggest a better phrasing of this sentence in the article.

In many legal jurisdictions, laws related to property and inheritance provide by default for property to pass upon the death of one party in a marriage firstly to the spouse and secondly to the children.

Thanks – b_jonas 14:26, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

If you feel more adventurous, rewrite the “Post-marital residence” section. – b_jonas 14:40, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

I think I gave the first one a pretty good baseline.
The second seems untidy because it goes into "theories" and authorship too much IMO. I tried, but it is still on the verge of being unreadable. Too scholarly IMO. Student7 (talk) 15:21, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

What happened to the “Rights and Obligations” section and the “Christianity” section of “Marriage and Religion”?

Both are large blank spaces.Future777 (talk) 11:30, 25 April 2013 (UTC)Future777 (talk) 11:37, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Correct Anti-Polygamy POV

In order to remove anti-polygamy POV (how does polygyny compare to child marriages, and forced marriages.), and improve the sense, please change from "Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses, between the spouses and their children, and between the spouses and their in-laws.[1] The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. In many cultures, marriage is formalized via a wedding ceremony. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples or two persons of opposite gender in the gender binary, and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, and forced marriages. In modern times, a growing number of countries and other jurisdictions have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and interfaith marriage. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity." to "Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between 2 or more people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses, between the spouses and their children, and between the spouses and their in-laws.[1] The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate, sexual, and procreative are acknowledged. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. In many cultures, marriage is formalized via a wedding ceremony. In terms of legal recognition, about 75% of sovereign states limit marriage to opposite-sex couples or two persons of opposite gender in the gender binary, and about 25% allow more female partners. In modern times, a growing number of countries and other jurisdictions have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and interfaith marriage. In some cultures, sexual activity is only legal within marriage."

I don't see any need for the addition of "2 or more persons" as the existing text doesn't limit the number of persons. It is also misleading to state that the states allow more female partners, as in many places the interpretation is not that it is one marriage of a man to multiple women, but a man who has multiple marriages. --Nat Gertler (talk) 23:16, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Nat - how is this? Kind of tricky to word, but hopefully less of a mess than the article is now !"Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses, between the spouses and their children, and between the spouses and their in-laws.[1] The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate, sexual, and procreative are formalised. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. In many cultures, marriage is formalized via a wedding ceremony. In terms of legal recognition, about 75% of sovereign states limit marriage to one mixed sex couple, and about 25% allow polygyny where more than one woman can be married to a man. In modern times, a growing number of countries and other jurisdictions have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and interfaith marriage. In some cultures, sexual activity is only legal within marriage." (talk) 06:42, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Not done: I don't see what change is needed. The sentence already includes 2 or more people, and the article has a section on it already. Mdann52 (talk) 12:37, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
"and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, and forced marriages. " is inaccurate and POV. 25% of countries permit polygyny, and then number has been about the same for the last 20 years, with some countries legalising polgyny. Child marriages and forced marriages are legally permitted by few, if any states. There are a number of other changes.
Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Pol430 talk to me 19:57, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 May 2013

Please provide an explanation of the term "solemnization", which redirects here, but is not mentioned in the article (and no, solemnisation is not mentioned either). (talk) 07:29, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Not done: Sorta done. Changed the solemnization page to a soft redirect. -Nathan Johnson (talk) 15:19, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Errors in grammar and punctuation under Termination

"In some societies, a marriages can be annulled, when an authority declares, that a marriage never happened."

The plural subject doesn't need the preceding indefinite article, and whoever wrote that sentence went crazy with the commas.PathToEternity (talk) 06:48, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 21 June 2013

This information is false, in many countries polygamy is legal:

"No country legally condones group marriages, neither under the law nor as a common law marriage, but historically it has been practiced by some cultures of Polynesia, Asia, Papua New Guinea and the Americas – as well as in some intentional communities and alternative subcultures".

This is more accurate:(passages taken from Wikipedia's polygamy page):

Although group marriages are illegal in most countries, in the modern Islamic world, polygyny is found in Saudi Arabia, and West and East Africa; in Sudan it was encouraged by the president in 2001 to increase the population.[66] Among the 22 member states of the Arab League, Tunisia alone explicitly prohibits polygyny; however, it is generally frowned upon in many of the more secularized Arab states, such as Egypt. Few other countries including Libya and Morocco require the written permission of the first wife if her husband wishes to marry a second, third, or fourth wife". (talk) 01:26, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:26, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 26 June 2013

The article currently claims that the Israelite society did not impose marriage fidelity upon men. In Deuteronomy 22:22, it is stated that an adulterous man must be killed. Deuteronomy was a part of the book called the Torah which was the ultimate law of Israelite society after the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. (talk) 17:37, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Hmm.. as far as I understand, it is only considered adultery in Jewish law if the man has relations with a married woman. If a married man has relations with an unmarried woman than technically it's not adultery. This is the soruce being used to support the statement (granted it's from 1906). I'm still trying to see if there's a contradiction somewhere, but I haven't found it yet. Do you have any other sources besides Deuteronomy 22:22? ~Adjwilley (talk) 17:56, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. (Note:I've deactivated the edit request for now..if you find a secondary source, feel free to reactivate it by changing "answered=yes" to "answered=no" at the top of the request. ~Adjwilley (talk) 22:42, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Deuteronomy 22:23-28 and Exodus 22:16-17 also discuss this matter. Under these Jewish laws, there were three categories that a woman could be in - 1) unmarried, 2) betrothed, and 3) married. If a woman was either betrothed or married and a man lay with her, he would always be put to death, and she would only be put to death if it happened in a city and she didn't cry out for help. If a woman was not married or betrothed and a man lay with her, the expectation was that they would get married. But if she and her father refused, then the guilty man still had to pay an expensive bride price. So in summary, Israelite society did impose marriage fidelity upon men, but the degree of punishment varied with the status of the woman he was unfaithful with. In John 8:2-11 Jesus was confronted with an adulterous woman who deserved the death penalty under these laws, but the guilty man was not brought forward with her. Thus Jesus faced a dilemma - should he encourage obedience to the law when it was being enforced in a manifestly unjust manner? His reply "Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone" upheld both the justice of the law and the mercy the he came to give. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 July 2013

Paragraph states 41 states define marriage as between one man and one wife. This cannot be accurate. there are currently 13 states that allow gay marriage, and 41+13 = 54. We do not have 54 states in the U.S. Please change 41 to "39 or fewer" (talk) 16:47, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Fixed: This source, as of June 2013, shows that 36 US states still define marriage as between a man and a woman. --SamXS 17:59, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 July 2013

The following should be removed from this paragraph: "In the United States, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) explicitly defines marriage for the purposes of federal law as between a man and a woman and allows states to ignore same-sex marriages from other states (though states arguably could do this already).[132][133"

DOMA was struck down as unconsitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. See: (talk) 16:51, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Rather than removing the whole thing, I have update the wording to reflect the recent Supreme Court decision. I did remove the parenthetical passage, since it seemed speculative and beyond the proper scope of the article. Rivertorch (talk) 19:11, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Note: Please revise the current wording, which says "The law was struck down in 2013." This incorrectly implies that not only was the federal definition of heterosexual marriage struck down, but also the portion dealing with states not needing to recognize gay marriages in other states. In fact, the Supreme Court's decision explicitly says that the latter portion of DOMA is still in force. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:25, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Fixed I changed it to:
Section 3 of the law was struck down in United States v. Windsor (2013) which prevented the Federal Governemnt form recognizing same-sex marriage. Section 2, which allows states to not recognize same-sex marriage in other states is still in effect.
Let us know if that satisfies your concern. CTF83! 01:56, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Observation: US centric

The article feels US centric. A large number of the paragraphs contain a reference to marriage in America, various legal processes that have gone on there, US academic studies which have taken place, statistics based on marriage in America etc. Petepetepetepete (talk) 13:20, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

A serious proposal

I would like to present a proposal of the opening text, which I believe is closer to cited source: "Marriage is a social union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws." I think also that this text is consonant to the article spouse. Support or objections ? --Rewa (talk) 16:10, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

It's not a bad proposal. I would suggest being WP:BOLD and just doing it. The worst that can happen is that it's reverted. (Actually that's not true; the worst that can happen is that your very reasonable proposal is reverted by someone here who thinks they own the article and you challenge them on it and then one thing leads to another and then you get "community banned".) But I am generally for good edits. (talk) 18:20, 26 July 2013 (UTC)


Another part of the problem (from above section) is that several rather widely disparate marriage practices are summarized into one sentence: SSM which is late 20th-21st century. Interracial marriage which was, in the United States only legal nationwide in the 20th century, but varies considerably in other countries and varied in the US, by states, as well. Interfaith marriages, which may have been legal but were not widely accepted before the 20th century anyplace. Lumping these together seems awkward at best. At worst, it is difficult to summarize much of anything with accuracy about all of them together.

We try to avoid the use of the word "modern" or "recently", to avoid WP:DATED. Again, this also appears to violate pov, by suggesting that it is "modern" (and therefore good) to pass such statutes and unmodern (and therefore bad) not to do so. This is taking a position. We are supposed to be reporting the facts not "detecting trends." The media does that. This is pov for an encyclopedia. Student7 (talk) 00:17, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Using "modern" in the sense of the last century or so doesn't strike me as too great a concern for becoming dated. Trying to summarize something as incredibly broad as marriage in a few paragraphs requires some very broad strokes. I also don't think "modern" carries a particularly strong sense of approval, just relative recency.--Trystan (talk) 02:37, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Exactly. WP:RECENTISM. Student7 (talk) 20:52, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

"Growing" = "POV"

An editor has repeatedly stripped the word "growing" out of the description of number of countries allowing same-sex marriage and some other forms of marriage, claiming it was POV. It is, at this point, sourced, and it also seems a rather hard mathematical reality; at this point not only can we point to the growth in recent years in the number of such countries, but we can also see that there are additional increases scheduled for the future (for a clear specific: the addition of gay marriage in England and Wales in 2014.) How is that POV? --Nat Gertler (talk) 17:25, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

It's purely descriptive, and verifiably so, hardly POV. I'm not sure it's essential, and maybe another word (like "increasing") would be just as good, but it does acknowledge the reality that the number of such countries is going up. The other phrase that was removed—"In modern times"—is essential imo because otherwise the sentence could be referring to any unspecified period. Rivertorch (talk) 18:15, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I'd have to agree with all of that. The edit was done in defiance of the Edit note at the start anyway. Time to change it back. HiLo48 (talk) 08:00, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Objection – I would be rather for the phrase "Contemporarily, some" in place of the current "In modern times, a growing number of". After all paragraph can be expanded with further sentence "Can be seen an upward trend in this area.", which explicitly provides the required information. What do you think? --Rewa (talk) 12:15, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
"Contemporarily" has multiple meanings and so is less precise, and your proposed "further sentence" is not a sentence at all. If we state it simply, the meaning will be clear and unambiguous. Rivertorch (talk) 20:14, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Fairly WP:POV to assess any "trend." "The trend is going my way" (and not yours) seems to be the intent of the editor. npov to say x countries have done thus and so. Very little in this world is static except maybe some equations. However, many articles are written with actual historical facts and not trying to predict an eventual outcome. This appears to be bandwagoning fallacy.
A few years ago we might have said "Home ownership is a growing portion of most people's portfolio." And we would have "assessed" this most likely just when the bubble burst. An npov way of wording this would have been that "x% of Americans hold y% of their assets in equity in a house." We wouldn't have been predicting anything that way. So WP:CRYSTAL is part of the problem = pov IMO. Student7 (talk) 00:17, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
No, there's nothing POV about noticing that a figure is not static and has been changing, any more than there is some POV in saying not just where a car is but that it has been moving. There is nothing POV about noticing the direction of the change. You may wish us to ignore facts; I see no reason that we should. Saying that something has been growing is not a statement of the future, even though in the case of same-sex marriage we know of further jurisdictions that will be added in the future. You may wish to check what bandwagoning links to; I don't think it's the point you're trying to make, but if it is, then you may need to explain it better. --Nat Gertler (talk) 01:24, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's POV, but I dislike "growing" on grammatical grounds. The use of present perfect doesn't agree with the assertion that the number is currently growing. It's like saying, "I have eaten at the local deli a growing number of times." I have, as of now, eaten there a fixed number of times, and while that number is likely to increase in the future, I am referring to the times that are now in the past. It would need to be something like "A growing number of countries are lifting bans...", but that would run afoul of WP:CRYSTAL, IMHO.
In terms of the meaning of the sentence, "growing" serves no purpose. If a number of countries have recognized same-sex, interracial, and interfaith marriages in modern times, then obviously the number of countries has been growing.--Trystan (talk) 02:31, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
1) Since 1992, a growing number of Americans has voted for a Democratic President.
2) Since 1952, a growing number of Americans has voted for a Republican President.
3) Since 1860, a growing number of Americans has voted for a Republican President.
Which of the above is true? Actually, all three are true. This is why it is WP:OR and WP:SYNTH to try to come up with what is "growing" and when the growth has taken place. Student7 (talk) 20:57, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
No, actually, it's neither OR nor SYNTH, as we have a source on it. And no, growing is pretty simple to determine mathematically, and with additional locations already scheduled to add same-sex marriage, it is not that we've reached a stagnant point; the future growth is already legislated into place. That is not to say that something cannot change in the future, that there might be some trend toward taking away same-sex marriage rights, but it's also true that people on Wikipedia that we talk about in the present tense will someday be in the past tense. --Nat Gertler (talk) 21:17, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Don't you mean "all three is true"? Rivertorch (talk) 22:20, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
If "growing" is considered an issue, why is "diminishing" in the first paragraph of the lead not considered a problem? I.e. "In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples or two persons of opposite gender in the gender binary, and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, and forced marriages." Schrauwers (talk) 02:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
More accurately, why not say, that "SSM grew from x countries in 1970 to y countries in 2013." That "Legally recognized intermarriage grew from b nations in 1875 to c nations in 2013." That "Legally recognized interfaith marriage" grew from m nations in 1850 to n nations in 2013." (And I'm not sure that "legal" is the point in the last two statements. The difference in social attitude is the problems in lumping all of them together).
This would have the advantage of being not only accurate, but npov and more nearly uncontroversial.
Best of all, it would have the word "grew" in there three times, since that seems to be the overriding issue. Student7 (talk) 19:12, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
While I still disagree with the claim of pov, I have no problems with the basics of the phrasing suggested. I would prefer to see "has grown" rather than "grew"; this is a living work and need not be considered to be cemented for reading in the future. --Nat Gertler (talk) 23:00, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Undue weight to cite from Confucius in "Definitions" section

In the "Definitions" section the citation from Confucius about what marriage is features prominently in quotes. There is no reason why it should be given WP:UNDUE like that. If it is to stay, it should be integrated into the text of the section, written in normal style, though I don't really think it belongs here at all.Skydeepblue (talk) 05:25, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

most common form

First off, I want to thank User:Schrauwers for putting a lot of effort into an article that could very much use it. I have not reviewed everything done, but it seems clear that the editor is putting in a serious-minded effort. With so many edits going on, I'm a bit reluctant to try to edit while that editor is on a roll. However, even looking quickly at a recent edit, I saw a line that I think at least is easily misunderstandable. Under types of marriage, it says that "In the global historical context, polygamy is by far the most common form. According to the Ethnographic Atlas, of 1,231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous; 453 had occasional polygyny; 588 had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry." Given the category for the section, that first sentence makes it sound like most marriages have been polygamous, but the second sentence is pointing merely to most societies being inclusive of polygamy. First off, even within a culture that is accepting of polygamy, most of the marriages may be monogamous (either by specific intent or simply by failure to bring further spouses into the marriage.) Secondly, judging commonality by number of societies is a chosen perspective; if we were to have a sample that is a monogamous nation of 100 million people and two polygamous villages of 35 people each, then we have "most" societies being polygamous, but it's hard to say that polygamy is more common. The "most common" phrasing invites different ways of counting (most societies, most marriages, most married people) where one can select based on the result one wishes to depict. At the very least, it should be rephrased. --Nat Gertler (talk) 22:57, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Hello Nat. An update on the progress of the edit to date: The bulk of what has been done is to sort existing material into a consistent framework. I have tried to avoid deleting any material, no matter how dubious. I have then started editing and adding content from the top (definitions) aided by User:Skydeepblue who is also on a roll. Please feel free to join in at any time. The lead and "types of marriage down" needs serious editing for consistency. In the example you cite above, for example, a paragraph beginning with a social science survey based on the broadly comparative Ethnographic Atlas has a second sentence from a newspaper, and a second paragraph which broadly condemns polygamy with no source cited. It is to be expected that hot-button issues such as monogamy, polygamy and same-sex marriage are going to generate POV. I would sincerely request, however, that any editor read the entire article before they challenge particular points, as above. Other's POV always leaps off the page; our own is always "neutral." This article needs people who will read it in its entirety and edit for consistency. The need for this is demonstrated by the "Growing" = "POV" debate above which challenges the word "grow" without addressing the use of "diminishing". A truly neutral POV will require the application of a consistent standard not to a particular sentence, but to the entire article.Schrauwers (talk) 12:05, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

American bias in editing

I feel personally that this article is written from an American POV - that is, that marriage is absolutely necessary, that one must be married when one has a child, and the like. For instance, the social situation of children born outside marriage and the government approach to this is hugely different in the US than it is in many other Western countries: in the US births outside marriage are officially considered a 'problem', and the official view is that they must be reduced. This is because in the US it is socially expected that couples get married before they have children, and so most non-marital births are from unplanned pregnancies (often to teenagers and young women in their early-20ies), hence the problems that come with them - the US has one of the highest teen pregnancy rate in the West. In other European countries most births outside marriage are from planned pregnancies to adult cohabiting couples; in those countries the 'normal' way of starting a family is to move in with a partner, to have a child when ready, and then get married or not get married at all. This survey from 1997 (and that's 1997 - today the views on extramarital births are even more liberal than then) showed that only 3% of respondents in Iceland, 8% in France, 9% in Germany said that having a baby outside marriage was "wrong", by contrast 47% of Americans said that! [4] Also, marriage as an institution is much more important to Americans than to other Westerns (I remember the surveys, I will try to find a link to them).

The view outside the West, eg severe stigmatization, including in some countries extreme situations - violence (honor killings, stoning etc) is already presented; and there is no reason why the only other view presented should be the American one (a "middle ground" view) while the most liberal Western European view should not be presented at all.

Skydeepblue (talk) 20:45, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

I would suggest added edits that include some of these referenced (other) "points of views". As for "American" bias; I am not sure where you get the information that gives you the "personal feeling" you are writing about. I edit this English version of Wikipedia and this mandates a certain amount of English bias. An example; Since I can not read nor write Chinese I have to rely on publications (and lack thereof), in English, that cover any material concerning content on marriage (tradition, laws, statistics, etc..) regarding Chinese people. If these sources are not direct translations from Chinese sources, guess what we have?
One of the first things I noted was the 5th paragraph: "During the past few decades, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, and many couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry.", and I thought, "This could be American bias", until I checked out the reference here that is a publication (EUobserver) by Editor-in-Chief Lisbeth Kirk, from Belgium, on European Union affairs. The editor that used this content and I assume ( I didn't check) reference, used the wording, "major social changes in Western countries...". I am pretty sure Western would include America, yet there is no mention of "American" statistics in the "European" article. Since it is astounding that these figures (and the article) would probably mirror "American" trends, I find it ironic that it certainly could appear (to me) to be biased, except not from an "American" point of view, as it is from a "European" point of view. The only actual bias would really be the use of "Western" without some wording such as some, or most (if it applies), or specific countries, so that there would be an American exclusion allowed in the sentence. What I did immediately notice was that a bare URL was used, and there are more in the article, but apparently that is not a real problem any more.
The reference above was dated 21.11.08 @ 17:27 and considering the article content use of, "During the past few decades", as apposed to the reference use of "compared to 15 years ago", there is a slight (decades) timeline difference. The reference you used (and noted) is dated November 7, 1997 so I would hope the references you are looking for are more current. As far as "severe stigmatization", especially concerning honor killings, and a "middle ground" view (being referenced as American), if referenced and the content concerns information exclusive to an American point of view, it would not be encyclopedic to exclude this information or would be reverse (from your point) bias to exclude it.
  • "If", by your "most liberal Western European view", you possibly mean those that support things like honor killings, such as European Muslims or followers of Sharia Law, you might be referring to possibly 5% of the population, referenced here (up to 8% for crimes of passion), and used as a reference in the article Honor killing, that is dated May 28, 2008. Considering the ancient date of most of the references it would seem a good thing to find more current sources.
    • Please note: I have not been able to go over the whole article because I found this noticeable exception right off the bat (no apologies for the American terminology) so thought I would respond. That said, it refers back to the opening sentence, to add content to balance the article for a neutral point of view which would be classified more as a balance issue than a bias issue. Otr500 (talk) 04:34, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect statements regrading presumption of paternity outside marriage

User:Student7 added text suggesting that in all countries there is a need for the couple to be legally married in order for automatic presumption of paternity (with automatic rights & responsibilities etc) to exist. This is not true for all jurisdictions. In some countries unmarried cohabitation for a period of time does create such a presumption, and so do various registered unmarried partnerships (eg civil unions etc that in some places are available to straight couples too).

Here is what the law says in Australia:[5]


Presumption of paternity arising from cohabitation


(a) a child is born to a woman; and

(b) at any time during the period beginning not earlier than 44 weeks and ending not less than 20 weeks before the birth, the woman cohabited with a man to whom she was not married;

the child is presumed to be a child of the man.

Skydeepblue (talk) 19:07, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Legal marriage = cohabitation, where legally defined as such and most probably declared by a court order. A "legal marriage" by another name. Student7 (talk) 23:04, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Uh, NO. Unmarried cohabitation in not the same as legal marriage... In certain jurisdictions, unmarried cohabitation does create a presumption of paternity similar to legal marriage. The presumption becomes automatic after the couple has cohabited for a period of time, although the couple is not legally considered married. Skydeepblue (talk) 23:25, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Not sure where you are getting "automatic" outside of a court of law. Many, if not most, men attempt to avoid payment of child support by stating that indeed, they were not residing with x, before a certain date, or after a certain date, or, indeed, ever! Try "proving" this and getting payments without a court order. Feel free to devise a way. Put a lot of lawyers and judges and human resource employees out of work. Student7 (talk) 00:37, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
All laws, including marriage laws, potentially require going to the courts to recognize and enforce the rights the laws set out. In one scenario, one party would need to prove the two were married for the court to order support, in the other, the party would need to prove they were cohabiting. The former is certainly easier to prove than the latter, but in neither case does the law mean anything without the courts to enforce it.--Trystan (talk) 13:50, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 2 September 2013

The use and origin of the term marriage in the English language coincide the with the shift in use of English from Latin during Christian practice and has is true origin in Latin (talk) 13:54, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Not done: please make your request in a "change X to Y" format. Also, please provide a reliable source for your change. BryanG (talk) 18:01, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 25 September 2013 (talk) 21:33, 25 September 2013 (UTC) I am a Chinese scholar, I found some new things, on the "ethical relationship of love." As well as the philosophy of ethical relationship of love shape (in ethical). This ethical relationship between ethics and marriage What is the difference? Resulting in the discovery of the nature of marriage. Reinterpretation of the Bible some of intent. Must be released before landing wiki do? This will take some time, China's network seems to be masked, and I can not login wiki.

                                                                                                     Scholar Cao Jing
If you want to add something to Wikipedia, it must come from a reliable source. Read the link for what that means, and also the guidance at WP:OR RudolfRed (talk) 00:40, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 16 October 2013

Hello, I just wanted to edit the "Sikhism" section of the "Marriage" article, to make it a little more natural, less awkward and cumbersome, but without losing any content or meaning:

Currently: In a Sikh marriage, the couple make rounds around the holy book called Guru Granth Sahib four times and the holy man speaks some words from the Guru Granth Sahib in the form of kirtan. The ceremony is known as 'Anand Karaj' and represents the holy union of between two souls that are united as one.

Suggested edit: In a Sikh marriage, the couple rounds the Guru Granth Sahib holy book four times, and a holy man recites from it in kirtan form. This ceremony is known as 'Anand Karaj' and represents the holy union of two souls as one. (talk) 08:43, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Fixed: Thank you very much, that's certainly an improvement. I've made some very slight alterations, and have wikilinked "kirtan". I think kirtan is a style rather than a form, isn't it? If I've made any mistakes, please say so here and I'll correct them. --Stfg (talk) 09:31, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Utah History Encyclopedia ref fix

Please replace the incomplete Utah History Encyclopedia citation in the "Number of spouses in a marriage" section with the following:

Lyman, Edward Leo (1994), "Statehood for Utah", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 

Thanks. -- (talk) 22:25, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Done. --Nat Gertler (talk) 17:09, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

The origins of Western wedding rituals

Adding the following link as it has links to source material that may be useful for the main article: The origins of Western wedding rituals/Forget the Ring.

Also, punishments for men who showed a preference to remain unwed: The danger of celibacy (1707) and An attack on bachelors – and their reply. (talk) 05:40, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Recognized legal status not contract

Societies and rituals create a status... not a contract.. egro they only recognize the status and not the's also not solely in the reference of two people, a legal marital status is recognized by many government and private institutes.. (taxes and insurance come to mind) Which is why you are given a marriage certificate.. it certifies the status of two people being married to each other... kind of like how a birth certificate certifies the status of two parents belonging to a child... both hold legal rights and obligations but neither are recognized by society as a contract...Nickmxp (talk) 23:17, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Even the source cited doesn't make reference to a contract between two people that establishes right... it plainly states it's the sanctioning of the culture that establishes these rights... a contract between to people cannot establish others as in-laws (often times people become in-laws without their knowledge or consent) not to mention that a marriage is only valid if a third party sanctions it.(preist, justice of the peace, etc. and they can refuse to do so for just about any reason).. again not a contract between "two" people.. Marriage is a public vow, not a private promise, and that needs to be reflectedNickmxp (talk) 00:37, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

and further more the two parties in a marriage don't ask each other to be married.. the officiator asks each one individually if they wish to be married to the other...then declares them both to be married...there is no real agreement met when people are declared married.. a declaration of marriage is based entirely on the judgement of the officiator...who is only allowed to make such a legal judgement within the scope and the authority of a marriage license...a marriage ceromony could be as simple as "do you want to marry him?"... "Yes"... "Do you want to marry her?"..."Yes"... "well then I declare you two married" agreement of anything has been verbally acknowledged between any two parties...only statements of fact...the distinction is relevant in the legal field due to the fact that states laws on marriage change over time and location.. if marriage were viewed as a contract then the terms of the contract would have to be renewed when the law changes.. but given that it's a legal status then the state is free to change what benefits and obligations of holding that status provide... Nickmxp (talk) 03:32, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

References to Robin Fox are sudden and potentially confusing.

Robin Fox is cited for his analysis: Fox argues that "the major difference between polygyny and monogamy could be stated thus: while plural mating occurs in both systems, under polygyny several unions may be recognized as being legal marriages while under monogamy only one of the unions is so recognized. Often, however, it is difficult to draw a hard and fast line between the two."[33]

There is no in line text that even introduces who "Fox" is, or why he is an authority.

Fox should be introduced as an anthropologist and author on the subject of marriage.

Grubham (talk) 16:47, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

I did so. He must mean "serial" monogamy else the sentence makes no sense at all. Student7 (talk) 20:37, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't think Fox is talking about serial monogamy in that quote. It is explicitly a statement about "almost all monogamous systems." Fox is saying that plural mating happens everywhere, and the difference is just whether and how the relationships are recognized. The blurred lines come into play where "secondary unions can become so established by custom and social sanction that they approach de facto marriage." It's an interesting point, but would fit better under the discussion of polygyny.--Trystan (talk) 00:08, 6 February 2014 (UTC)


i want the change hindu dharam — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:41, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Marry comes from name Mary

The ethimology of this word is rather unclear in this article. It starts to explain the root of the word but at a point it changes topic and starts talking about the ethimology of the word "matrimony". Let's just stay at the word "to marry". It doesn't seem very illogical to say the word can be originated from the name: "Mary". Considering the religious nature of marriage, and the date of spreading of this word (X-XII. century) we can easily got to the point where we find it hides the name of one of the Marys in the Bible. Until that point I shared a version with high possibility. From that sentence on, let's free our mind and let's get into little more "heretic" thoughts. We all heard about Da Vinci Code - and besides that from many new scientific evidences suggest that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a relationship deeper than a master and one of his follower could have. Some say they were actually married, but no evidence have found for or against it. I say this word could be an evidence - literally speaking: Jesus was the first, who got "Maryied". Just think about it! It totally makes sense even nowadays if I approach the English word from this side. If we do a little research we got to the fact that Mary Magdalene spent the rest of her life after the death of Jesus in France, where her worship formed. And even in this article we find that the English word came from Old French. Only little pieces or traces, anybody can put these together the way he wants, I joined them that way. (talk) 15:51, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Current etymology seems accurate. "Matrimony" redirects here which is why there is etymology for that as well. "Mary" is "Miriam" in Aramaic. We've Anglicized the name. Student7 (talk) 16:36, 4 March 2014 (UTC)