I don’t think this is generally true. Aboriginal Australian peoples, until contact with Europeans, and for some time afterwards, all lived hunter-gatherer lifestyles, involving minimal or no cultivation, and no concept at all of private property or of inheritance. Yet they all practised marriage. I think specialisation of roles – which Aboriginal societies did have – may have had something to do with this, but specialisation is as old as – and older than - the human species.DollarLama wrote:Two points: Marriage came into existence when hunter-gathering was replaced by farming, 13,000-odd years ago. With a surplus of production and specialisation of roles came the concept of women as chattels. A man paid a dowry to have (some degree of) a guarantee to exclusive sexual access to a particular woman. (Today, it's traditional for the bride's family to pay for a large chunk of the cost of a wedding - effectively a dowry.)
UDS fails to recognise that the purpose of marriage as we know it is to secure inheritance of the resources of a given couple. Remember the inheritance rights which illegitimate children had, until recently.
A common mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. Whether in a registry office or a church, synagogue or temple, from the point of view of the state it is the exchange of vows before witnesses and a celebrant which constitutes the legal, binding marriage. If the couple and the celebrant fail to complete the registration paperwork and send it in to the registrar, they have committed the offence of failing to register the marriage, but the couple are still legally married – as they will discover, should one of them attempt to marry someone else without first obtaining a divorce.DollarLama wrote: A couple "intending to marry, exchange formal marriage vows in public, in the presence of witnesses, [doing] that in a fashion which means that they now consider themselves married, their families consider them married, their friends consider them married and the community considers them married" has absolutely no legal standing whatsoever. I could set up such a ceremony under a 100 year old oak tree; that ceremony has no legal value. Consequently the assertion that "a ceremony [...] in a place that the state chooses [is] oppressive." has no merit.
Currently, church weddings conflate the religious ceremony and the civil ceremony; in a church wedding, the legally binding ceremony takes place out of public view in a small side-chamber.
Marriages get registered because people have got married. People do not get married because they have registered their marriage.
UDS wrote:Births get registered without the state insisting that everyone has to be born in the registrar’s office; likewise deaths. So I see no need for a big deal about marriages not happening in a registry office.
That’s because births generally don’t take place in churches. They do often take place in maternity hospitals, and the registration paperwork gets completed there.DollarLama wrote:This is utterly disingenuous; births are not registered in churches.
In theory anywhere can be approved as a venue for the celebration of marriages, but the Minister’s guidelines as to what she will approve indicate that she will only approve indoor venues. (Given the Irish climate, I can see the point.) The venue has to be open to the public (the whole point of marriage is that it is celebrated in public, and anyone can go to any wedding) so this rules out private homes. The Minister expects public liability insurance, access for people with disabilities, and compliance with planning, fire safety and public health and safety requirements, etc. You can see the point of this, but it obviously gives hotels, conference centres, stately homes, etc a distinct advantage. Getting a venue approved for a one-off ceremony would be very expensive, so only property-owners in the hospitality/catering business are going to bother.UDS wrote:just checked what the law is here. Churches do seem to favoured somewhat by the process. Every marriage must be witnessed a person who is on the Register of Solemnisers. You can download the Register here. http://www.groireland.ie/Register_of_Solemnisers.xls
Notice how every single organisation but one, on the list, is a religion. The only other organisation approved to oversee marriages is the HSE. So in other words, religious organisations are being granted special powers in the area of marriage that other private organisations arent granted.
My impression is that the law is designed to protect the earnings of churchs and hotels. Other venues and organisations are kept out of the market. Look at the list of requirements for marriage venues here. It seems designed to direct business towards hotels, and away from free venues. Youre not allowed to get married outdoors, ie a park or garden. Youre not allowed to get married at home or at someone elses home. Youre not even allowed to get married in a church, unless its a religious ceremony! You really only have three choices, a church, a hotel, or the registry office.
Churches, etc, are at an advantage; they can approve their own venues (provided they are public), and they can approve outdoor venues (though I’m not aware if any do).
Hobbesianworldview is correct that the system favours churches and religious bodies. Apart from the capacity to approve their own venues, only a religious body or a Health Board can apply to have a person’s name put on the register of solemnisers. Health Boards can only apply to have their own employees registered, and religious bodies can only apply to have their own members registered. Hence if the Humanist Association of Ireland or a similar body wanted to get one of their own officers registered to celebrate weddings, they couldn’t.
These venue and solemnizer requirements are why a ceremony celebrated by DollarLama under an oak tree will not be recognised by the state. I don't see that the injustice to DollarLama and other lovers of oak trees, though, would be at all remedied by the state refusing to recognise marriages celebrated in churches. If in fact the community wants marriages celebrated by Dollarlama under oak trees, why should they not have them? Provided DollarLama undertakes to provide a supply of umbrellas just in case, of course.