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Some couples prefer to simply live together without ceremony or state license; others wish to stand up in front of friends and family, declare their love and commitment to each other, and be legally married in a secular or religious setting. Marriage can have both religious and legal significance.
Governments allow some couples to marry and deny marriage to other couples. Many Christian denominations look upon marriage as being ordained by God, patterned after God's creation of the first couple, Adam and Eve.
Religious and social conservatives call them "traditional marriages." A minority form what are often called "homosexual marriages," or "gay marriages." We recommend that the term "same-sex families" and "same-sex marriage" be used instead, because some male-male and female-female marriages involve two bisexuals or a bisexual and a homosexual. Hundreds of these are offered by individual states. Because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Gay and lesbian committed couples are excluded from these federal the benefits and protections that they would otherwise bring to themselves and their children. Only opposite-sex couples can legally marry in most of the world's political jurisdictions. There are eight family types described in the Hebrew Scriptures.
However, DOMA law has been found by a number of federal courts to violate the U. Constitutional and is currently under appeal to the U. However, a number of jurisdictions have enlarged their definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. Belgium, Canada, the District of Columbia and a few states in the U. In North America, there are currently three main types: "What, then, is the nature of this institution [marriage] as understood in Christendom?
To some Christians, the relationship between two spouses is considered permanent.
After the Civil War and over the objections of many conservative folks, African-Americans were permitted to marry.State courts have consistently refused their requests.The awkward title "civil union" is being replaced in popular usage with "marriage." Rather than say "I entered into a civil union," people will say "I got married." Rather than say "This is my civil unionized partner" people will refer to their partner as wife, husband, spouse or similar term. Some couples are of the same religion; others are inter-faith. Supreme Court declared miscegenation laws unconstitutional. Interracial marriages are now legal everywhere in North America; they are increasing in numbers.
However, a small but growing percentage of couples who wish to marry are of the same gender. It has gone through many changes and redefinitions over the past 15 decades: Most couples are made up of one woman and one man; some are of the same gender; a relative few are polygamous, either group marriages (any gender combination of more than 2 persons), polygynous (one man, multiple women), or -- very rarely -- polyandrous (one woman, multiple men). But it is only since the Civil War that African Americans were allowed to marry anywhere in the U. Such methods are forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church and some other faith groups. In Canada, it is determined for the entire country by federal legislation.