You're saying marriage is only religious (I suppose your choice of religion).
So atheists shouldn't get married?
People have been getting married long before the currently faddish religions.
And who says religion isn't also man-made?
Who says your view is not man-made?
Or are you arguing that nobody should be married?
There's also marriage as a civil right, which confers various rights and responsibilities between the two partners.
That didn't matter much to previous states, as long as marriage produced new labor and markets, and kept women disempowered economically, and kept the
inheritance in a male lineage.
If it took a few brothels to keep that going it didn't matter much.
In SA we've had civil or religious marriage between opposite sex partners since the 1960s.
Since 1998 we also have a law allowing for customary marriage (including African or some other polygamous traditions).
Since 2006 the Civil Union Act allows same sex couples to marry (over 18, to a single partner), either in a civil or religious ceremony. Although the
rights are the same as the original marriage act, it is an extra law, and no religious institution is forced to marry anyone they don't want to.
Marriage had many roles, from forging social and cultural ties between communities, and also economic exchanges.
It's easy to wonder why people still want to get married (and in more secular countries they go the civil route, or often leave it completely), but
ultimately you become kin, and if your partner is hurt and ends up in hospital, the last thing you need to hear is that you cannot see them because
you're not "next of kin".
Marriage is not only a religious institution.
In fact, the religious examples of marriage are very different to our own.
edit on 3-4-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)