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From the state's viewpoint it is sensible that there are precise definitions of what constitutes a marriage under civil law, with the consequences that flow from that, such as: tax reliefs; divorce arrangements; children responsibilities.

Accepting and integrating cultural arrangements which depart from the current legal framework for these responsibilities should surely seek to incorporate these aspects?

It follows that 'marriage' arrangements which do not follow the legally authorised pattern should not be recognised; and the property and child care responsibilities which arise from these unrecognised arrangements should be dealt with under existing law, and not given any special treatment.

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