In honor of my recent legal research kick, I would like to recommend the Abolish State Marriage blog.
A collection of articles and essays, this site advocates that Civil marriage, which is given (and taken away) by the State, should be avoided in favor of an Ecclesiastical or Common law marriage that is outside of the Civil/Marriage license quagmire.
While it is always better to avoid marriage in any form, MRAs should give this a once over.
As an example of the thorny legal questions we need to sort out, let's take a look at the article entitled, Enlightening Conversation with a Marriage License Bureau (located on a different website than the Abolish State Marriage blog):
... the marriage license is Secular Contract between the parties and the State. The State is the principal party in that Secular Contract. The husband and wife are secondary or inferior parties. The Secular Contract is a three-way contract between the State, as Principal, and the husband and wife as the other two legs of the Contract.
He said, in the traditional sense a marriage is a covenant between the husband and wife and God. But in the Secular Contract with the state, reference to God is a dotted line, and NOT officially considered included in the Secular Contract at all.
He said, if the husband and wife wish to include God as a party in their marriage, that is a "dotted line" they will have to add in their own minds. The state's marriage license is "strictly secular," he said. He said further, that what he meant by the relationship to God being a "dotted line" meant that the State regards any mention of God as irrelevant, even meaningless.
Now this is interesting, as the religious definition of marriage is just the opposite.
In the Judeo-Christian context:
Marriage and Divorce
The marriage relationship is entered into when a man and a woman commit themselves to each other, before Elohim, as husband and wife, and then consummate that commitment with the sexual union. The Scriptures offer NO precepts or guidelines for ceremonies. There is NO command or precept in the Scriptures that says that some man ("clergy") is to "marry" the couple. No man can marry the couple because it is Elohim who created and ordains the institution, and He gives no command in the Scriptures where He calls for a man to serve as the agent of approving the marriage. The couple is to be married before Elohim first and foremost.
Marriage is defined solely by Elohim, and as such, government-given "marriage licenses" really have no binding authority whatsoever on the actual and true definition of marriage. Likewise, government-based "divorces", or simply the voiding of government-given "marriage licenses", also have no authority on the legitimacy of Biblical marriages. Whatever the government chooses to define has no meaning or bearing in terms of whether Biblical marriages are "existing" or "voided".
See Genesis:16 1-6 and Genesis:24 62-66 for examples of Biblical marriage.
Returning to Conversation with a Marriage License Bureau:
The picture he was trying to "paint" was that of a triangle with the State at the top and a solid line extending from the apex, the State, down the left side to the husband, and a separate solid line extending down the right side to the wife, a "dotted line" merely showing that they consider themselves to have entered into a religious union of some sort that is irrelevant to the State.
Marriage License Secular Contract Diagram
STATE (primary party)
HUSBAND WIFE . (secondary party)
(secondary party) . GOD
He further mentioned that this "religious overtone" is recognized by the State by requiring that the marriage must be solemnized either by a state official or by a minister of religion that has been "deputized" by the State to perform the marriage ceremony and make a return of the signed and executed marriage license to the State.
Again, he emphasized that marriage is a strictly secular relationship so far as the State is concerned and because it is looked upon as a "privileged business enterprise" various tax advantages and other political privileges have become attached to the marriage license contract that have nothing at all to do with marriage as a religious covenant or bond between God and a man and a woman...
... it is very important to understand that children born to the marriage are considered by law as "the contract bearing fruit" - meaning the children primarily belong to the State, even though the law never comes out and says so in so many words.
In this regard, children born to the contract regarded as "the contract bearing fruit," he said it is vitally important for parents to understand two doctrines that became established in the United States during the 1930s. The first is the Doctrine of Parens Patriae. The second is the Doctrine of In Loco Parentis.
Parens Patriae means literally "the parent of the country" or to state it more bluntly - the State is the undisclosed true parent. Along this line, a 1930s Arizona Supreme Court case states that parents have no property right in their children, and have custody of their children during good behavior at the sufferance of the State. This means that parents may raise their children and maintain custody of their children as long as they don't offend the State, but if they in some manner displease the State, the State can step in at any time and exercise its superior status and take custody and control of its children - the parents are only conditional caretakers. [Thus the Doctrine of In Loco Parentis.]
He also added a few more technical details. The marriage license is an ongoing contractual relationship with the State. Technically, the marriage license is a business license allowing the husband and wife, in the name of the marriage, to enter into contracts with third parties and contract mortgages and debts. They can get car loans, home mortgages, and installment debts in the name of the marriage because it is not only a secular enterprise, but it is looked upon by the State as a privileged business enterprise as well as a for- profit business enterprise. The marriage contract acquires property through out its existence and over time, it is hoped, increases in value.
Also, the marriage contract "bears fruit" by adding children. If sometime later, the marriage fails, and a "divorce" results the contract continues in existence.
The "divorce" is merely a contractual dissolution or amendment of the terms and conditions of the contract. Jurisdiction of the State over the marriage, over the husband and wife, now separated, continues and continues over all aspects of the marriage, over marital property and over children brought into the marriage. That is why family law and the Domestic Relations court calls "divorce" a dissolution of the marriage because the contract continues in operation but in amended or modified form. He also pointed out that the marriage license contract is one of the strongest, most binding contractual relationships the State has on people...
While this article may indeed have errors (as far as I can see), it's worth looking at. It is clear that marriage and divorce are covered by Equity, and quite possibly,Admiralty law where
basic constitutional provisions simply do not apply [a][b].
We as MRAs need to step back, take a good hard look at what the law really says about the issues we care about, and focus our efforts on making the necessary corrections needed to restore our Natural Rights as men.
So check out the Abolish State Marriage blog, put on your thinking cap, and let's flex those legal muscles!