Couples entering into marriage should be allowed to use a partnership agreement tailored to their own circumstances and aspirations—one that reflects the values and expectations that they themselves attach to marriage—not forced to take or leave a one-size-fits-all version supplied by the government. The privatization of marriage would not only give couples far more choices, but it would also end the strife among those who seek to turn marriage into something that they can control by defining what it is.

Colin P.A. Jones is a U.S. lawyer and professor at Doshisha University Law School in Kyoto, Japan.
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