↑ comment by DanArmak ·
2009-10-04T20:18:51.628Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
This prompted me to write about the related situation in my country. It's something I've had occasion to feel strongly about (my two best friends got married last month), but isn't related to ordinary LW discussions. (This thread feels a lot more open than the "official" Open Threads :-)
I live in Israel. The law here forbids "mixed marriage", i.e. miscegenation. Citizens have an "ethnicity" listed in their state IDs, and must be married (and divorced) by a priest from the matching brand of religion. My ID card says "Jewish"; that means I can only be legally married by a Jewish priest recognized by the state, an Orthodox rabbi - Reform and other Jewish communities not being recognized. I must marry under the Orthodox marriage code, which means I can only marry another state-certified Jew.
There are other rules. Some are painful for those who have to deal with them: the pair being married must not have ancestors known to be bastards; a man named Cohen (a common surname literally meaning 'priest') cannot marry a divorced woman. Other rules are mere nuisances: a woman cannot marry within some days of her monthly period...
So I can't marry at least one third of the woman citizens of my country. This includes not only the different ethnic communities (Arab, etc) but many recent immigrants who have come here mostly for economic reasons. And of course there is no same-sex marriage.
The practical solution? The state recognizes any heterosexual marriage registered in a different country. There is a flourishing local industry that lets people fly or sail to the nearby island of Cyprus, register a marriage act, and be back the same day for the wedding party. These people have the same legal status as any other married couple. (But if the couple couldn't marry in Israel by the rabbinical laws, their descendants will also be unable to marry in Israel, or in any other Orthodox ceremony worldwide.)
Additionally, the state recognizes self-declared partnerships which are somewhat inaccurately called common-law marriages in English. Such couples have most but not all of the legal rights granted to married couples. In recent years, even same-sex self-declared pairs have been getting some few legal rights, one supreme court hearing at a time.
There's little chance of ever changing the marriage law, but it's plausible that the various alternatives will eventually be granted all the relevant legal rights. In another decade or two, the only real difference might be the name of the law applied. Of course there's always racism and discrimination to deal with...
Getting back to the original subject; I've always thought (and said) that unless the law is changed, I would rather not be married, or at least I would marry abroad in Cyprus. To which my parents always replied: you'll feel differently when you have a girlfriend who wants to marry. I thought they just weren't taking me seriously.
But now that I know about Hansonian signaling and related matters, I see that my declarations of opposition to marriage are simply signals of association with some socio-political opinions. They're cheap signals for me, because no-one currently wants to marry me. I really won't know myself how important this is to me, until I have to make the actual decision.
A public and ritualized commitment to this position might well help. I'm not aware of any widespread symbol for this here in Israel.
Replies from: Alicorn
↑ comment by Alicorn ·
2009-10-04T20:36:24.548Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Additionaly, the state recognizes self-declared partnerships whose name translates roughly as 'publically known [as partners]". (There's probably a more usual English translation of which I'm unaware.)
Common law marriage may be like this.
Replies from: DanArmak
↑ comment by DanArmak ·
2009-10-04T20:41:15.392Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Yes, and the Wikipedia article on C-L marriage says that's what we have. With the obvious caveat that CLM couples here do not get the same legal rights as married couples.
Thanks - I'll update my comment.