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Conversely, civil marriage does not exist in some countries governed by a religious legal system, such as Saudi Arabia, where marriages contracted abroad might not be recognized if they were contracted contrary to Saudi interpretations of Islamic religious law.In countries governed by a mixed secular-religious legal system, such as in Lebanon and Israel, locally performed civil marriage also does not exist within the country, preventing interfaith and various other marriages contradicting religious laws from being entered into in the country, however, civil marriages performed abroad may be recognized by the state even if they conflict with religious laws (in the case of recognition of marriage in Israel, this includes recognition of not only interfaith civil marriages performed abroad, but also overseas same-sex civil marriages).For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.Historically, in most cultures, married women had very few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family's children, the property of the husband; as such, they could not own or inherit property, or represent themselves legally (see for example coverture).
Whom they marry may be influenced by gender, socially determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire.
Around the world, primarily in developed democracies, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and legally recognizing the marriages of interfaith, interracial, and same-sex couples.
These trends coincide with the broader human rights movement.
The word "marriage" derives from Middle English mariage, which first appears in 1250–1300 CE.
This in turn is derived from Old French, marier (to marry), and ultimately Latin, marītāre, meaning to provide with a husband or wife and marītāri meaning to get married.