A new definition of marriage

Anna and Daddy
Anna and Daddy, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
A few years ago, I wrote:

[T]he state could treat you as married if you had either had a child together or lived together for three years, and it could treat you as divorced if you had either “married” somebody else through the above-mentioned actions or lived apart for two years.

Now an Indian high court judge seems to have had the the same idea:

The court said that if a bachelor has completed 21 years of age and an unmarried woman 18 years, they have acquired the freedom of choice guaranteed by the Constitution. “Consequently, if any couple choose to consummate their sexual cravings, then that act becomes a total commitment with adherence to all consequences that may follow, except on certain exceptional considerations.

The court said marriage formalities as per various religious customs such as the tying of a mangalsutra, the exchange of garlands and rings or the registering of a marriage were only to comply with religious customs for the satisfaction of society.

This is brilliant! In a Scottish context, this would men that if two people are sixteen years old and have sex, they’re married.

It’s a beautiful simplification of marriage, but I do wonder when you divorce according to the Madras court — unless that’s automatic as well, lots of people will end up multiple bigamists!

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