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Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Marriage Law: Obsolete Or Cutting Edge?, Michigan Journal Of Gender & Law Jan 2003

Marriage Law: Obsolete Or Cutting Edge?, Michigan Journal Of Gender & Law

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Over the past hundred years, social and cultural expectations surrounding various forms of committed relationships have changed dramatically, and contemporary legal systems have struggled to adapt. The result has been an extraordinary opportunity to test fundamental assumptions about law, about the cultural understandings that are enforced through state power, and about the mechanisms that drive law's evolution. The Michigan Journal of Gender & Law has drawn together an exceptional group of panelists who will discuss these questions throughout the day.


Is Marriage Obsolete?, Lynn D. Wardle Jan 2003

Is Marriage Obsolete?, Lynn D. Wardle

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Is legal marriage obsolete? Wardle thinks not. In order to understand why not, it is necessary first to grasp the significance of the focus of the discussion on the legal status of marriage. As this Introduction suggests, lack of legal marriage status does not prevent families and communities from treating couples as married nor does the law forbid couples from voluntarily providing each other "marital benefits." Nevertheless, whether marriage is obsolete at the beginning of the twenty-first century is an important question. This article analyzes four dimensions of that question.