In previous work, and in my forthcoming book, I defend the concept of the marriage-free state: a state in which marriage is not recognised by the state and has no legal consequences. This paper considers the extent to which the marriage-free state should seek to regulate any private religious or secular marriages that citizens might enter into. In the marriage-free state citizens could still take part in religious or secular marriage ceremonies; it is not a marriage-free society. It does not follow, however, that the state should take no interest at all in such marriages, since they may take place in the context of oppression or injustice. The paper sets out the case for intervention in marriages that are not recognised by the state, drawing on the model of liberal intervention in cultural practices set out in my first book Sex, Culture, and Justice: The Limits of Choice.
The talk will be livestreamd at https://videosquare.ceu.edu/en/live