"Why Do We Need the State’s Permission to Get Married Anyway?"

The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed our friend Stephanie Coontz about the state of marriage in 2010. 
Coontz explains “… for thousands of years, the state really stayed out of marriage, except to intervene only if and when a family needed it to back it up. In the U.S., the state was pretty loose on marriage. The laws used to say that if you acted like you were married, then you were married.” 

Read the full article here

Not familiar with Stephanie Coontz? She uses history to examine our ideas about marriage and family, emphasizing that the dynamics of the “traditional” American family have changed. Coontz has produced work intended to debunk romanticized notions about the notion of American families — in particular her book The Way We Never Were argues that the family in the 1950s was far more prone to divorce, teen pregnancy, and infidelity than is commonly believed.