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Inside the CastleLaw and the Family in 20th Century America$
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Joanna L. Grossman and Lawrence M. Friedman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149820

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149820.001.0001

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Marriage and the State

Marriage and the State

(p.27) Chapter One Marriage and the State
Inside the Castle

Joanna L. Grossman

Lawrence M. Friedman

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the rise and fall of marriage restrictions rooted in racism and eugenics, as well as the persistence of other, more enduring, impediments to marriage—like bigamy, incest, and youth. Central to the story of state marriage regulation is the establishment, beginning in the 1960s, of constitutional protection for the “right” to marry, which limited, at least at the margins, the freedom of states to impose certain restrictions on marriage. But also central, in a system dominated by state law, are the rules of interstate marriage recognition, which dictate whether marriages travel across state lines. In broad brush, this chapter tells a story of increasing marital freedom, reined in only by a handful of seemingly immoveable social norms.

Keywords:   marriage restrictions, state marriage regulation, racism, interstate marriage, marital freedom, marriage regulation, eugenics

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