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When growing up many of us believe that getting married is the “thing to do” when you get older and want to start a family. Yet, perspectives have changed over the last years. Some couples like to take advantage of living together without ever getting married due to religious beliefs, others are not legally allowed to be married in some states, and some couples do not believe in marriage. Marriage itself is very complex. Looking into the requirements that a couple must have in order to get married, I found some interesting laws that I was not aware of. My husband and I got married in Germany. It was complex there because he was American Citizen and I was German citizen. We were required to show additional forms and even had to hire an interpreter although my husband speak German quire well. However, although we needed all these additional papers, the law itself was not as perplex as it is in some states here.
When it comes to legal requirements, some states still require a blood test from the couple. The mandatory blood test defines on rather or not someone has rubella, sickle-cell anemia and tuberculosis. In addition the individual cannot just marry anyone (Blackman, 2016). Most states require both parties to be 18 years old. If they are younger , they must obtain consent from parent or judge. The most common situations of underage marriage is , if the woman is pregnant. In this situation the judge often requires proof that the couple can support themselves financially. People who are already married cannot marry again unless they have been separate for a period of time and divorce is official. Proof of divorce, annulment or death of previous spouse is required to show termination of previous marriages. In addition both people cannot be blood relatives. Some states allow couples to get married if they are relatives such as third cousins. Some allow first cousins to marry if they are elderly and no longer able to conceive (Blackman, 2016).
The question on rather or not society have a right to legally define who can and cannot get married in the United States can be very complex and I feel can be answered differently upon everyone’s personnel beliefs. After reading the legal requirements for marriage I feel that it should be defined in a way. For example I feel that the requirement of being 18 years of age and that someone can only be married to one person at the time is morally appropriate. Now, when I look at the blood test and rather or not someone as rubella or other diseases, I find this as a requirement rather silly. Initially I thought the blood test was done to see rather or not the couple is related. I thought in today’s day and age, it should not be from importance rather or not someone has a disease as a requirement for marriage. My beliefs are also that same sex marriage is ok. Yes, I am a religious person. However I feel that if two people love each other marriage should be granted to them regardless of their gender. Although typing this I realize I contradict myself with my previous statement. If everyone who loves each other should be granted marriage how can we implement laws that don’t allow individuals under the age of 18 to be married? Yet, in that age are they mentally ready to accept and understand what marriage and love is? Should we measure their maturity more than their physical age?
To the question on rather or not society has a legal right to define who can who cannot get married in the United States is indeed complex. Personally my opinion about this question is very strong. I feel that there should be legal guidelines such as age. However, I think the aspect on when someone is turning into an adult should be defined closer. For example, in Germany you are considered an adult with 18 years of age. You can make your Drivers License with 18, you can marry with 18, you can join the military with 18 and you are allowed to legally drink alcohol with 18 (U.S. Department of State, n.d.). In the United States you are allowed to drive a car with 16, are allowed to marry and join the military with 18 but are not allowed to drink alcohol until 21. To me this is confusing as I am still wondering on why you are allowed to defend your country and die for your country with 18, marry and drive a car, but cannot have a drink of alcohol because you are not old enough yet (Talking points memo, 2015). I understand that there are pros and cons, but to me it seems confusing. My point is that there should be a general age on when children are considered adult and they should have all legal rights then, including the right to marry. I do not agree that there should be a blood test requirement. I think this is too much personal information that is required and people should not be defined by their disease nor by rather or not they marry the same sex. People should not be defined by who they are. The U.S.A is a republican state and therefore everyone has individual rights. This should include the right of marrying regardless of what sexual orientation they are or if they are sick (Talking points memo, 2015). However, my personal beliefs say that the law to only be married to one woman at a time should be kept. At the same time I cannot expect everyone to have the same beliefs as me. Therefore, I strongly believe that there should be an age guideline on who is allowed to marry or not. As well as I agree with the family marriages. There should be a law that you cannot marry brother and sister and so on and so forth. I believe that this is important to prevent incest as well as to prevent mental and physical developmental problems in their future children.