I have a lot of old books, no surprise if you know me at all. One of them is Collier Cyclopedia of Social and Commerical Information (c) 1882 which I bought in part for the graphics, wingdings, etc. but also for its history.
The next time someone disparages woman’s lib, I’m going to remind them that the section entitled, “A Digest of the Laws Relating to the Rights of American Women” begins with this gem:
“Marriage may be entered into by any two persons, with the following exceptions: Idiots, lunatics, persons of unsound mind, persons related by blood of affinity, within certain degrees prohibited by law; infants under the age of consent, which in the State of New York, is 14 for males and 12 for females, and all persons already married and not legally divorced.”
On the other hand, I may just use it the next time someone says, “We didn’t used to let same sex couples marry; we had a God-faring land!” Because, please notice there’s nothing there about same sex couples at all.