Since a few people have been asking about laws lately, I thought it would be a good idea to just make a sort of prompt.
Although the main focus here is not laws, those kinds of questions are definitely connected to all else discussed. There are all kinds of sources out there that give bits and pieces of information, but I’m not sure if there is one authoritative source with all the information, especially when it comes to alternative marriages.
Often there is much misinformation mixed in with facts. It’s the kind of thing that would require a careful study. It would make for a great school project if someone would take it on. (Not just looking at North American laws, but laws all around the world.)
No matter what kind of marriage laws you are trying to find out about, the most reliable sources would be government websites that are specific to the country or state you are looking up, human rights organizations, and the actual written codes that show what is legal and what is not.
Sometimes this process also requires reading between the lines and interpreting the words based on what is said and what is left unsaid.
So, if someone were to take on that kind of project, here are some questions they might possibly want to cover:
…What kind of marriages are allowed?
…What does the criminal code of that country or state say? Is it possible for someone to live with a certain partner without being prosecuted, even if they cannot legally marry?
…What happens when people travel/relocate from a place where their marriage is legal to a place where it is illegal or criminalized?
…What happens if a transgender person gets married while passing as cis, then gets outed in a place where gay marriage happens to be illegal?
…If two people whose love is banned have a child together, will they be forced to give up that child?
Also, laws change. Nothing stays the same over time. One can only hope that those changes are generally progressive…
So, as you can see… there are a number of questions that people don’t often ask that are hard to answer. This is in part why it needs to be a big project. If someone takes on this task, they should try to use the most up-to-date, reliable sources and be prepared to back up their findings with those sources instead of just going by guess work.