Institution of marriage is believed to be connected with one of the most important spheres of the human society as rules and responsibilities connected with marriage often define the life of the humanity in general. Speaking about marriage and legal rules related to it, it is necessary to highlight the fact that practices applied in different countries can be slightly or extremely different. In order to better understand similarities and differences between different countries when it comes to marriage and related practices, it is necessary to compare legal assumptions related to marriage that are implemented into practice in South Africa and KSA.
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In reference to South Africa and marriage, it can be stated that there is a few important trends touched upon in the case that we were supposed to read. To begin with, there is a range of rules applied to cases of extramarital children, and there is no doubt that some of them can be regarded as discriminatory due to the fact that they deprive those children who have been born outside of marriage of the right to get financial help from paternal grandparents.
In fact, there are a number of difficult cases related to the problem of extramarital birth and marriage. In one of the given cases, the problem was related to law prescribing that only maternal grandparents are supposed to take care of an extramarital child in case if her of his parents are unable to do it themselves due to different financial situation or other reasons. As for KSA, having sexual relationships being unmarried remains a crime itself. This discriminatory practice is often criticized.
Speaking about important trends related to marriage in South African countries, it is necessary to say that the number of possible forms of marriage has been extended almost twenty years ago, and plural marriage (only for men) was approved. Speaking about KSA, it is necessary to say that polygamy is also supposed to be an appropriate practice but in fact, the share of polygamous families in the country is relatively small. Considering the fact that polygamous relationships are supposed to be inappropriate in the majority of countries, it can be stated that the approval of such form of marriage in both countries that are discussed can be seen as an important common feature between marriage laws in South Africa and KSA.
As for the differences that between the countries in terns of attitude to marriage, it is necessary to mention that the most important difference is related to laws touching upon same-sex marriage. Speaking about South Africa, it is necessary to say that it was one of the first countries to accept homosexual marriages, they were claimed to be legal more than ten years ago. Different couples living in South Africa are given the right to be seen as a real family.
Despite the fact that there are people who do not support such relationships, public aggression against those belonging to sexual minorities is prohibited. At the same time, the situation is opposite in KSA – the majority of people living there do not accept the existence of people who would like to have romantic relationships with the ones of the same sex; therefore, their attitude to the fact that same-sex marriages are accepted in certain countries is obviously negative.
Therefore, although traditional cultures in South Africa and KSA are quite different, there are certain common features related to their legal systems and particular laws defining marriage and duties that spouses are supposed to fulfil.