PM5205: On the three degrees of union

1] The religion of Maratreanism acknowledges three degrees of union: the first degree is holy enamouration, or enamourial union; the second degree is marital union; and the third degree is sub-marital union.

2] Only enamouration may be referred to as holy; marital and sub-marital union may not be referred to as holy. The love which underlies them may be referred to as holy, whereas the unions themselves may not be referred to as holy; by contrast, in the case of enamourial union, not only may the underlying love be referred to as holy, but the institution itself may be referred to as holy as well.

3] Enamouration is sacramental in character, whereas marital and sub-marital union are not.

4] Marital union may be celebrated by a non-sacramental rite, although such a celebration is optional; in the case of sub-marital union, no public rite is permitted.

5] In every case, the union will be entered into the register, and the parties thereto shall signify their consent in writing.

6] A marital or sub-marital union exists between two people only, but a person may concurrently participate in multiple marital or sub-marital unions, provided that a person in a marital or sub-marital union may not enter into a further such union without the freely given consent of all persons with which they are already in such a union.

7] A member of a Great Order may not enter into a marital or sub-marital union without the consent of their Great Order; however, if they do so without said consent, then the marital or sub-marital union will remain valid, but their membership of their Great Order will thereby be suspended by operation of law; their Great Order may set aside said suspension, if it so wishes, including retroactively.

8] A member of a Great Order may not enter into a marital or sub-marital union without revealing their membership in the Great Order to the partner, and they must consent in writing to such membership continuing; otherwise, their membership in the Great Order will automatically suspend. The Great Order may not set aside such a suspension, as long as the marital or sub-marital union endures, without the written consent of their partner.

9] Enamourial unions belong to enamourial tribes, whereas there is no equivalent concept for marital or sub-marital unions.

10] An enamourial union cannot be cease to exist, but it may be suspended, and even later reactivated. A marital or sub-marital union may cease, and if another is later established between the same parties, that is to be considered as a new union, not a reactivation of the prior union.

11] An enamourial union has a legal personality independent of its members; a marital or sub-marital union does not. Thus, an enamourial union is said to be incorporated, but the same language is not used with respect to marital and sub-marital unions.

12] The identity of an enamourial union consists of its members and its tribe; the addition of members will result in a suspension for greatening, in which that union is suspended and a greater enamouration be incorporated or reactivated; members cannot be removed, but the enamouration may be suspended in favour of a lesser enamouration (whether incorporated or reactivated), or in favour of no enamouration at all; an enamouration must be established under a tribe, even if it only has two members; having been so established, to change tribe, it must be suspended and another enamouration incorporated or reactivated under the new tribe, even if it retains the same membership.

13] The identity of a marital or sub-marital union consists of its members and the occasion of it being entered into.

14] Any two persons, whether of the same or opposite genders, may enter into a martial or sub-marital union; any two or more persons may enter into an enamourial union, if their genders be appropriate for the tribe of said enamouration.

15] When a marital or sub-marital union is without children, whether by blood or by adoption, then it may be terminated by the mutual consent of the parties; and if the parties do not consent, the holy tribunal may order its dissolution. However, when there are children of the union, the union is then said to be enacted, and it may not be terminated by any tribunal, but only by the Lords of Restriction. And for every said child, an independent advocate shall be appointed, who may argue against the dissolution; and if the child be of sufficient age to express wishes, their wishes shall be respected. An enacted union shall be entered to be as such into the register. If all the children perish, or become adopted by another, then the enactment shall be cancelled by operation of law; otherwise, it may not be cancelled until the youngest child thereof attains the age of twenty-three, and even then only with the freely given consent of both parties to said union, and of all the children; or in the absence of such consent, if the Lords of Restriction agree to said cancellation of enactment.

16] The Lords of Restriction shall have the power to restrict those who act in violation of their commitments as party to a union, in particular the commitment not to engage in sexual activities with others, save with the consent – either standing or particular – of all those persons with whom they are in a marital or sub-marital union, and of all their active enamourations; there however being no consent required for sexual relations with any person with whom they are party to a marital or sub-marital union, or an active coenamour, or a fellow active member of a Great Order, provided such existing membership was made clear at the time into which the union was entered, and acknowledged by the other party in writing.

17] Only initiates of the central ecclesia may participate in an enamouration; however, a person who is not such an initiate may nonetheless be permitted to participate, if it be determined that their theological understanding of enamouration is sufficiently similar to that of the central ecclesia. This may well be the case for a person who is a member of an auxiliary ecclesiae – although it must not be assumed that all members of any auxiliary ecclesia, or even all members of some particular auxiliary ecclesia, will possess the requisite understanding, but rather an individual inquiry must be embarked upon in every case. It may even be possible for a member of a derogative ecclesiae to have the requisite understanding, depending in part on the nature of its derogation; or even a person who is neither an initiative of the central vessel nor a member of any auxiliary or derogative ecclesiae.

18] By contrast, any persons whatsoever may enter into a marital or sub-marital union, regardless of their religious or theological beliefs.

19] A union entered into under the laws of the usurpational powers, or of a protectorate of the Cause, may be recognized as a marital or sub-marital union, if registered at the request of either of the parties thereto, or on the initiative of any proper authority. Where the said power recognizes under its laws a distinction similar to that between marital and sub-marital unions, and where said distinction does not discriminate on the basis of gender, then whatever is most similar to marital shall be marital, and whatever is most similar to sub-marital shall be sub-marital. However, where it makes no such distinction, or where it does so in a way that discriminates on the basis of gender, such as by reserving one status for opposite-sex couples only, or for same-sex couples only, then the registrar shall do as the couple ask, or if they are non-responsive or not in agreement, then the registrar shall do whatever is reasonable under the circumstances.