> Marriage has always been about community and religion, in many countries people never bother registering it with the government.
At least in Europe, that's pretty much backwards -- marriage has always been about property, and, it was fairly late that the Church even got involved at all, and the Church getting deeply involved in governing marriage was largely a trend that happened as the Church deepened its involvement in government more generally.
Yes I forgot. For some cultures in some time periods women were property that was traded from father to husband, in exchange for goods, and marriage was the contract that finalized the transfer of property. Especially for the higher classes that had a significant amount of property.
In some religions at least marriage signified a bond between two people, and not merely a transfer of property. My views are shaped somewhat by the fact that in Orthodox Christianity (the type I'm most familiar with), marriage isn't a transfer of property, and the bride isn't 'given' from father to husband. It's an equal arrangement. Whereas in Islam and 'western' Christianity the bride is 'given', much like property.
> For some cultures in some time periods women were property that was traded from father to husband, in exchange for goods, and marriage was the contract that finalized the transfer of property.
I wasn't talking about women as property, though that's also a factor in some cases (which undermines the whole "traditional marriage" as a good thing argument.) I was talking about marriage being about property arrangements, not the parties being property.