Some general historical notes on marriage:
- "For most of European history, marriage was more or less a business agreement between two families who arranged the marriages of their children." - Wikipedia
- "[Greek and Roman] marriage and divorce required no specific government or religious approval. Both marriage and divorce could happen by simple mutual agreement." - Wikipedia
- In the US, married women were once prohibited from owning property, and married couples were prohibited from using contraception until 1972. Married women were only allowed credit in their own names in 1975; reversals of these rules represent additional "changes in the definition of marriage", but there has been no corresponding outcry against them.
Historical alternatives to "one man + one woman" (1M1W) marriage include:
Variations on 1M1W not currently in use:
Wikipedia: redirects to "marriage" as of 2014-04-19 Conservapedia: see conservapedia:Marriage#Modern_history_of_marriage_law