It wasn’t until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century that the recording of marriages and establishing of rules for marriage became a function of the state. Martin Luther, the Catholic priest who initiated the Reformation in Germany said that marriage was a “worldly thing … that belongs to the realm of government.” A similar opinion was expressed by John Calvin, his Swiss counterpart. Calvin and his colleagues reformulated Christian marriage by enacting the Marriage Ordinance of Geneva, which imposed “The dual requirements of state registration and church consecration to constitute marriage” as valid.
I love posts like this because the titles are always fun.
Luther, of course, allowed for pre-martial sex and polygamy. Good for him, I say.