Civil marriage

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A civil marriage in 19th century Switzerland (Albert Anker, 1887) Albert Anker - Die Ziviltrauung (1887).jpg
A civil marriage in 19th century Switzerland (Albert Anker, 1887)

A civil marriage is a marriage performed, recorded and recognised by a government official. [1] Such a marriage may be performed by a religious body and recognised by the state, or it may be entirely secular.

Marriage Social union or legal contract between people called spouses that creates kinship

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognised union between two people, also called spouses, that establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but typically it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is known as a wedding.

Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.

Contents

History

Every country maintaining a population registry of its residents keeps track of marital status, [2] and all UN Member countries except Iran, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Tonga have signed or ratified either the United Nations Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage, and Registration of Marriages (1962) [3] or the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) which carry a responsibility to register marriages. [4] Most countries define the conditions of civil marriage separately from religious requirements. Certain countries, such as Israel, allow couples to register only on the condition that they have first been married in a religious ceremony recognised by the state, or were married in a different country.

Civil status, or marital status, are the distinct options that describe a person's relationship with a significant other. Married, single, divorced, and widowed are examples of such status and sometimes may be a source of discrimination.

Iran Country in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.

Somalia Federal republic in Africa

Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Guardafui Channel and Somali Sea to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. Somalia has the longest coastline on Africa's mainland, and its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands. Climatically, hot conditions prevail year-round, with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall.

In England

In medieval Europe, marriage was governed by canon law, which recognised as valid only those marriages where the parties stated they took one another as husband and wife, regardless of the presence or absence of witnesses. It was not necessary, however, to be married by any official or cleric. This institution was cancelled in England with the enactment of "Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act" of 1753, which required that, in order to be valid and registered, all marriages were to be performed in an official ceremony in a religious setting recognised by the state, i.e. Church of England, the Quakers, or in a Jewish ceremony. Any other form of marriage was abolished. Children born into unions which were not valid under the Act would not automatically inherit the property or titles of their parents. For historical reasons, the Act did not apply in Scotland. Consequently, until 1940, it continued to be enough in Scotland for a man and a woman to pledge their commitment to each other in front of witnesses to legalise their marriage. This led to an industry of "fast marriages" in Scottish towns on the border with England; the town of Gretna Green was particularly well known for this. In 1836, the requirement that the ceremony take place in a religious forum was removed, and registrars were given the authority to register marriages not conducted by a religious official.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Canon law is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law, or operational policy, governing the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the individual national churches within the Anglican Communion. The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies widely among these three bodies of churches. In all three traditions, a canon was originally a rule adopted by a church council; these canons formed the foundation of canon law.

Marriage Act 1753 prohibition on clandestine marriages in England and Wales

The Marriage Act 1753, full title "An Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriage", popularly known as Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act, was the first statutory legislation in England and Wales to require a formal ceremony of marriage. It came into force on 25 March 1754. The Act was precipitated by a dispute about the validity of a Scottish marriage, although pressure to address the problem of clandestine marriage had been growing for some time.

In other European countries

A couple waiting to get married in the town of Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy A cauple wait for wedding.jpg
A couple waiting to get married in the town of Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

Many European countries had institutions similar to common-law marriage. In 1566, the edict of the Council of Trent was proclaimed denying Catholics any form of marriage not executed in a religious ceremony before a priest and two witnesses.

Common-law marriage, also known as sui iuris marriage, informal marriage, marriage by habit and repute, or marriage in fact, is a legal framework in a limited number of jurisdictions where a couple is legally considered married, without that couple having formally registered their relation as a civil or religious marriage. The original concept of a "common-law marriage" is a marriage that is considered valid by both partners, but has not been formally recorded with a state or religious registry, or celebrated in a formal religious service. In effect, the act of the couple representing themselves to others as being married, and organizing their relation as if they were married, acts as the evidence that they are married.

Council of Trent Synod

The Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent, was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.

The Protestant pastor and theologian of Geneva, John Calvin, decreed that in order for a couple to be considered married they must be registered by the state in addition to a church ceremony.

Geneva Large city in Switzerland

Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

John Calvin French Protestant reformer

John Calvin was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism, aspects of which include the doctrines of predestination and of the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation, in which doctrines Calvin was influenced by and elaborated upon the Augustinian and other Christian traditions. Various Congregational, Reformed and Presbyterian churches, which look to Calvin as the chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world.

In 1792, with the French Revolution, religious marriage ceremonies in France were made secondary to civil marriage. Religious ceremonies could still be performed, but only for couples who had already been married in a civil ceremony. Napoleon later spread this custom throughout most of Europe. In present-day France, only civil marriage has legal validity. A religious ceremony may be performed after or before the civil union, but it has no legal effect.

French Revolution Revolution in France, 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

Napoleon 19th century French military leader and politician

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader of Italian descent who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

In Germany, the Napoleonic code was valid only in territories conquered by Napoleon. With the fall of his empire, civil marriage in Germany began to die out. However, certain sovereign German states introduced civil marriages, which were either obligatory (like the French model) or optional, with either a religious or civil ceremony being accepted. Already before 1848 the Grand-Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach enacted optional civil marriages, followed by the German republics of the Free City of Frankfurt upon Main (1850, obligatory), Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (1851, optional) and Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck (1852, optional). German Grand-Duchies such as Oldenburg (1852/55, optional), Baden (1860) and Hesse (1860) as well as the Kingdom of Württemberg (1863) followed suit. [5] Civil marriages enabled interfaith marriages as well as marriages between spouses of different Christian denominations. After the unification of Germany in 1871, the Reichstag adopted a bill initiated by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck as the "Civil Marriage Law" in 1875 (see: Kulturkampf); since then, only civil marriages have been recognised in Germany. Religious ceremonies may still be performed at the couple's discretion. Until Dec. 31, 2008, religious marriages could not be performed until the couple had first married in a civil ceremony.

Civil marriage in the world currently

Civil marriage by country
State recognizes civil marriages only
State recognizes both civil and certain religious marriages
State recognizes civil marriages; no additional information
State recognizes religious marriages only
Civil marriages only for foreigners
Civil marriages only for non-Muslims Marriage law.svg
Civil marriage by country
  State recognizes civil marriages only
  State recognizes both civil and certain religious marriages
  State recognizes civil marriages; no additional information
  State recognizes religious marriages only
  Civil marriages only for foreigners
  Civil marriages only for non-Muslims

England and Wales

Today marriages in England or Wales must be held in authorised premises, which may include register offices, premises such as stately homes, castles and hotels that have been approved by the local authority, churches or chapels of the Church of England or Church in Wales, and other churches and religious premises that have been registered by the registrar general for marriage. [6]

Civil marriages require a certificate, and at times a licence, that testify that the couple is fit for marriage. A short time after they are approved in the superintendent registrar's office, a short non-religious ceremony takes place which the registrar, the couple and two witnesses must attend; guests may also be present. Reference must not be made to God or any deity, or to a particular religion or denomination: this is strictly enforced, and readings and music in the ceremony must be agreed in advance. [7]

United States

Marriage in the United States is still largely regulated by state laws (though not without occasional federal override—see Loving and Obergefell ).

All states (and the District of Columbia) require a marriage license issued by local civil authorities. As a rule, ministers of religion (e.g. rabbis or Christian pastors) are authorized in law to perform marriages; various state or local officials, such as a mayor, judge, deputy marriage commissioner, or justice of the peace, are also empowered to conduct civil wedding ceremonies, which may take place in public offices. Many counties in Pennsylvania allow self-uniting marriages for which no official minister is required, as a concession to the state's Quaker heritage (though other religious traditions also avail themselves of the option). The type of ceremony (religious or civil) has no bearing on the legal validity of the marriage, and there is no requirement to precede a religious rite with a civil ceremony. Marriages performed outside of the United States are legally binding if officially recognized by the government of the country in which they are performed.

Countries with mandatory civil marriage

In most European countries there is a civil ceremony requirement. Following the civil marriage ceremony, couples are free to marry in a religious ceremony. Such ceremonies, however, only serve to provide a religious recognition of the marriage, since the state's recognition has already been given. In some of these countries (e.g. Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey) most couples marry without any religious ceremony at all. Full, formal weddings, complete with wedding gowns and the presence of family and friends, are usually conducted in special ceremonial rooms in the town hall.

Countries with no civil marriage

There is no civil marriage in many Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Syria, [8] Jordan, [9] United Arab Emirates, [10] Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Libya, Mauritania, as well as in Indonesia, [11] Iran, Lebanon and Israel, among others; all marriages are conducted by religious authorities, and are registered by civil authorities only after having been registered by authorities of officially approved religions, or, having been registered abroad. Some of those countries as Israel, Syria and Lebanon officially recognize Islam, Christianity, Druze, Judaism, and marriage is possible but usually only within the same community. Contrary to the situation in Lebanon, Syrian law prohibits the recognition of any marriage that falls outside the existing proscriptions of its personal status laws, even if the couple gets married abroad [12] . Egypt recognizes civil marriages but is very complicated. One will need to have all the necessary paperwork completed and then one must go with two men as your witnesses. Foreigners will need a paper from their embassy. This yields particular problems for those who are refused divorce by their spouses, or couples in religious traditions that forbid divorce altogether. Malaysia allows civil marriage for non-Muslims only, while in Kuwait, Bahrain and Afghanistan [13] it is allowed for foreign citizens only.

Civil marriage and other unions of same-sex couples

People leaving the town hall of Hoje, Denmark following a civil marriage Wedding party at Town Hall.jpg
People leaving the town hall of Høje, Denmark following a civil marriage

As of December 2018, there were several jurisdictions which permitted same-sex marriages, namely Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Kingdom of Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, both Taiwan and Austria by federal high court rulings (both not yet in effect until 2019 and Costa Rica in effect by 2020) [14] , England, Wales, Scotland (does not include both Northern Ireland and Sark as of yet in the UK), the Isle of Man, Falkland Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Bermuda (despite ongoing legal appeals), Pitcairn Islands, Gibraltar, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Antarctic Territory, Ascension Island, Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha, [15] United States and Uruguay. Also several states within Mexico - namely Mexico City, Baja California, Campeche, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Quintana Roo, Guerrero, Querétaro and Puebla. Israel, [16] Estonia and Armenia recognize same-sex civil marriages abroad from other countries - but does not allow same-sex marriages to be performed within their borders. Northern Ireland recognises same-sex civil partnerships but not same-sex marriages, and treats foreign same-sex marriages (including those from the rest of the UK) as civil partnerships.

In 22 countries worldwide and in several jurisdictions within Mexico, a same-sex couple can be legally partnered in a civil union, domestic partnership or registered partnership. Couples in these unions or partnerships are afforded rights and obligations similar to, but not identical to, those of a married couple.

See also

Related Research Articles

Same-sex marriage in the Netherlands has been legal since 1 April 2001. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Sealing (Mormonism) Latter Day Saint ordinance

Sealing is an ordinance (ritual) performed in Latter Day Saint temples by a person holding the sealing authority. The purpose of this ordinance is to seal familial relationships, making possible the existence of family relationships throughout eternity. LDS teachings place great importance on the specific authority required to perform these sealings. Church doctrine teaches that this authority, called the Priesthood, corresponds to that given to Saint Peter in Matthew 16:19.

A marriage license is a document issued, either by a church or state authority, authorizing a couple to marry. The procedure for obtaining a license varies between countries and has changed over time. Marriage licenses began to be issued in the Middle Ages, to permit a marriage which would otherwise be illegal.

Civil partnerships in the United Kingdom are a form of civil union granted under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, allowing same-sex couples to obtain essentially the same rights and responsibilities as civil marriage. Civil partners are entitled to the same property rights as married couples, the same exemption as married couples on inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits, and also the ability to obtain parental responsibility for a partner's children, as well as responsibility for reasonable maintenance of one's partner and their children, tenancy rights, full life insurance recognition, next of kin rights in hospitals, and others. There is a formal process for dissolving partnerships akin to divorce.

Marriage is a devolved issue in the different parts of the United Kingdom, and the status of same-sex marriage is different in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Same-sex marriage is recognised and performed in England, Scotland, and Wales, but not Northern Ireland.

Quaker weddings are the traditional ceremony of marriage within the Religious Society of Friends.

Conflict of marriage laws is the conflict of laws with respect to marriage in different jurisdictions. When marriage-related issues arise between couples with diverse backgrounds, questions as to which legal systems and norms should be applied to the relationship naturally follow with various potentially applicable systems frequently conflicting with one another.

Marriage in England and Wales

Marriage in England and Wales is available to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples and is legally recognised in the forms of both civil and religious marriage. Marriage laws in England and Wales have historically evolved separately from marriage laws in other jurisdictions in the United Kingdom. There is a distinction between religious marriages, conducted by an authorised religious celebrant and civil marriages conducted by a state registrar. The legal minimum age to enter into a marriage in England and Wales is sixteen years, although this requires consent of parents and guardians if a participant is under eighteen. Certain relatives are not allowed to marry. For foreign nationals, there are also residency conditions that have to be met before people can be married. Same-sex marriage was introduced under the Marriage Act in March 2014.

Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) is a Scottish registered charity that promotes humanist views and offers Humanist ceremonies. It is a member of the European Humanist Federation and the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

Marriage law legal requirements which determine the validity of a marriage

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The legal status of same-sex marriage has changed in recent years in numerous jurisdictions around the world. The current trends and consensus of political authorities and religions throughout the world are summarized in this article.

Marriage certificate vital record

A marriage certificate is an official statement that two people are married. In most jurisdictions, a marriage certificate is issued by a government official only after the civil registration of the marriage.

Marriage officiant person who presides over a wedding

A marriage officiant, solemniser, Celebrant, or "vow master" is a person who officiates at a wedding ceremony. Some nonreligious couples get married by a government official like a judge, mayor, or justice of the peace.

A humanist celebrant or humanist officiant is a person who performs humanist celebrancy services, such as non-religious weddings, funerals, child namings, coming of age ceremonies and other rituals. Some humanist celebrants are accredited by humanist organisations, such as Humanists UK, Humanist Society Scotland (HSS), and the Humanist Association of Canada (HAC).

Marriage in Israel

Marriages in Israel can be performed only under the auspices of the religious community to which couples belong, and no religious intermarriages can be performed legally in Israel. Matrimonial law is based on the Millet or confessional community system employed in the Ottoman Empire, which was not modified during the British Mandate and remains in force in the State of Israel.

Marriage in Scotland

Marriage in Scotland is recognised in the form of both civil and religious unions between individuals. Historically, the law of marriage has developed differently in Scotland to other jurisdictions in the United Kingdom as a consequence of the differences in Scots law and role of the separate established Church of Scotland. These differences led to a tradition of couples from England and Wales eloping to Scotland, most famously to marry at border towns such as Gretna Green. The legal minimum age to enter into a marriage in Scotland is sixteen years and does not require parental consent at any age.

Marriage in Northern Ireland

Marriage in Northern Ireland is legally defined as between a man and a woman. Civil partnerships became available to same-sex couples in December 2005 and grant rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage. There are residency conditions that have to be met prior to marriage. If one of the parties wishing to marry is subject to immigration control, notice of marriage can only be given at a register office, which both parties must attend together. The marriageable age is 17 with consent but 18 otherwise. Marriage must be between two otherwise unmarried people.

Same-sex marriage and civil unions are not legal in Armenia. In 2017 the Ministry of Justice ruled that the country must recognize all marriages performed abroad, including marriages between people of the same sex, though as of 2019 no same-sex marriages had been recognized. The Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples.

India does not recognise same-sex marriage or civil unions. Additionally, it does not possess a unified marriage law. Every Indian citizen has the right to choose which civil code will apply to them based on their community or religion. Although marriage is legislated at the federal level, the existence of multiple marriage laws complicates the issue. The following acts cover India's marriage laws:

Civil ceremony

A civil, or registrar, ceremony is a non-religious legal marriage ceremony performed by a government official or functionary. In the United Kingdom, this person is typically called a registrar. In the United States, civil ceremonies may be performed by town, city, or county clerks, judges or justices of the peace, or others possessing the legal authority to support the marriage as the wedding officiant.

References

  1. "Civil Marriage Definition". Marriage.about.com. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  2. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sconcerns/mar/default.htm
  3. "OHCHR | Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage".
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-03-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. Julius Schoeps, "Emanzipation der Herzen – oder: Der Fall Ferdinand Falkson", in: PreußenJahrBuch: Ein Alamanch [published on the occasion of the Projekt Preussen 2001], Museumspädagogischer Dienst Berlin (MD Berlin) in collaboration with the Landesverband der Museen zu Berlin and Museumsverband des Landes Brandenburg (ed.), Berlin: MD Berlin, 2000, pp. 52–56, here p. 56. ISBN   3-930929-12-0.
  6. "England and Wales", Legal (article), Wedding Guide UK, archived from the original on 2013-02-09
  7. "England and Wales", Music Not Allowed at Civil Ceremonies (article), Wedding Music Designer (Simon Jordan)
  8. Syria: Social repercussions of a marriage between a male Druze and a Muslim woman, UNHCR
  9. Marriage in Jordan, USA: Jordan embassy, archived from the original on 2011-10-06
  10. Marriage and weddings, Dubai, UAE FAQs
  11. Marriage in Indonesia, BCC Visa Law
  12. Hassan, Ali Wadea'. "Between Church and State: Civil Marriage in the Arab World".
  13. Marriage in Afghanistan, USA: Kabul embassy, archived from the original on 2011-09-06
  14. "Taiwan top court backs same-sex marriage". BBC News. 2017-05-24.
  15. https://dysk.onet.pl/file_download/ojqCz
  16. Israel's Supreme Court approves same-sex marriages performed abroad Archived September 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Israel Insider, November 21, 2006