“I know we're not completely legal until we file the license, which we’ll do next week,” the 22-year-old pop star said. “But in a real sense, a spiritual sense, we're married.”And she’s right. Marriage does not depend for its existence on the recognition of the state. Marriage is, at its fundament, an ethical commitment between two (or more if you swing that way) individuals. If the parties choose, they may wish to make a legal commitment as well, but the acts are in principle distinguishable. To say that Britney and her beau are unmarried simply because they haven’t filed a license with the state is to confuse the promise with the enforcement mechanism.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Posted by Glen Whitman at 9:45 PM
Britney Spears attracts much well-deserved criticism, but I agree with her on this one. Some people are claiming that Britney is not really married, despite Sunday night’s surprise ceremony in a private home in Studio City (where I live!), because she and her intended haven’t filed a marriage license yet. Britney’s response?