The Story of Liberty
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H/T Sources: 
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200505/marriage-history

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/26/opinion/26coontz.html?_r=1&

http://www.amazon.com/Marriage-History-How-Love-Conquered/dp/014303667X

http://www.stephaniecoontz.com/books/marriage/

http://civilliberty.about.com/od/equalrights/qt/relationships.htm

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/03/27/when-it-comes-to-marriage-government-should-divorce-itself/

http://harmful.cat-v.org/society/gay_marriage

http://www.livescience.com/37777-history-of-marriage.html

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09693a.htm
http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/billy-graham-my-heart-aches-for-america-new-letter-addresses-nations-declining-morality-and-the-need-for-spiritual-revival/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_privatization

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23750849

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_promotion

http://www.billygraham.org/articlepage.asp?articleid=4594
WHY do people — gay or straight — need the state’s permission to marry? For most of Western history, they didn’t, because marriage was a private contract between two families. The parents’ agreement to the match, not the approval of church or state, was what confirmed its validity.

For 16 centuries, Christianity also defined the validity of a marriage on the basis of a couple’s wishes. If two people claimed they had exchanged marital vows — even out alone by the haystack — the Catholic Church accepted that they were validly married. (Continue Reading