Does legalized, same-sex “marriage” break the law of chastity?

As I was doing research tonight for an article on the law of chastity, I came across something interesting that has to do with same-sex “marriage.”  Having been through the temple, I knew that the law of chastity is defined for us there, so I went to to get the exact text of the definition of the law of chastity.  It was then that I noticed the following:

Pre-1990 definition of the law of chastity

We are instructed to give unto you the law of chastity. This I will explain. To the sisters, it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse (1) except with your husband to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded. To the brethren it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse except with your wife to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded. (2) [Taken from this page.]

[Footnotes: (1) 1. The 1990 revision speaks of sexual “relations” rather than sexual “intercourse.” (2) 2. The 1990 revision does not have women and men covenant separately to keep the law of chastity. Instead, women and men simultaneously covenant to have no sexual relations except with their “husband or wife” to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded. This revision was no doubt made to streamline the ceremony. However, the new wording has the presumably unintended consequence of bringing same-sex marriages–if legalized–within the pale of the law of chastity.]

1990 definition of the law of chastity

We are instructed to give unto you the law of chastity, which is that each of you shall have no sexual relations except with your husband or wife to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded.  [Taken from this page.]

Now, I have always assumed that the 1990 definition had a way out of permitting same-sex “marriage” in its use of the words “legally and lawfully.”  Essentially, I figured that “legally” meant it was permitted by the State and that “lawfully” meant it was according to the laws of God.  In other words, that a matrimony could not break the law of chastity with one another as long as their marriage was right with the State and also right with God.

However, I am no lawyer.    And I wonder if I am wrong in my assessment of the meaning of “legally” and “lawfully.”  I wonder if the temple definition could be used against the Church by church members, who, given the current marriage situation in certain States of the Union, decide to “marry” another church member of the same sex, legally (and lawfully?)  If the Church tries to take action against these members, saying that they are openly fornicating (breaking the law of chastity), and attempting to get them disfellowshipped or excommunicated, what would happen if these same members brought up the current temple definition of the law of chastity in their defense, stating that as they are married, they are complying with the law of God?  And if the Church disregarded such a defense, could these members take this to the law of the land (the State) and say, “Look at the definition of the law of chastity which we received in the temple and see that we have fully complied with that definition, thus, the Church is in error, not us?”

There is no doubt that the pre-1990 definition excludes same-sex “marriage.”  But does the 1990 definition do the same?  If it doesn’t, meaning, if the wording is not sufficient to exclude it, and if the temple definition can be used as a defense in a lawsuit, the Church may be in for some legal trouble should any members decide to engage in legalized, same-sex “marriage” or, perhaps, if any non-member, same-sex “matrimony” decides to investigate the Church and desires baptism without first divorcing.

Next Chastity article: The Law of Chastity: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Previous Chastity article: The many definitions of adultery

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist


  1. Elder Dallin Oaks gave an interview to CBS TV in 1986 wherein he seemed quite emphatic that the objection to homosexual behavior was that it involved sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage (rather than being intrinsically sinful). He related this directly to the commandment in the Decalog prohibiting adultery. It is almost humorous to read Elder Oaks repeatedly attempt to frame the objection to homosexuality in the context of marriage:

    CBS: Elder Oaks, what is the Church doctrine teaching on homosexuality?

    ELDER OAKS: Are you asking me about homosexual inclinations or homosexual practices?

    CBS: Let’s talk about both. Or either one.

    EDLER OAKS: The Church’s position based on scriptural commandments is that men and women should refrain from any sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage. That is the same doctrine for sexual relations between the sexes and among the sexes.

    CBS: Specifically homosexuality. What is the Church teaching on homosexuality?

    ELDER OAKS: The Church’s teaching is based on the scriptural commands including the commandment in the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” The Church’s position is that mean and women should refrain from any sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage. That commandment applies to sexual relations between the sexes and among the sexes.

    CBS: But there’s no homosexuality and there’s no homosexual marriage so we’re just talking about the homosexual inclination and the homosexual act. What is the Church’s position?

    EDLER OAKS: The Church’s position on any sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage is that they are forbidden by God.

    CBS: Specifically homosexuality, there’s no homosexual marriage, what is…we have understood from our reading and talking to people is that it’s considered a sin next to murder, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, as grievous as murder.

    ELDER OAKS: Sexual sins are considered grievous sins. But the sexual sins that are considered too grievous sins are sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage.

    CBS: What about the nature of a man with a man or a woman with a woman, regardless of marriage?

    ELDER OAKS: That is a sexual sin, like adultery or fornication or any other sexual relation outside the bonds of marriage.

    CBS: What happens when you love your church dearly, yet you have very strong homosexual feelings that you can’t repress?

    ELDER OAKS: I don’t know.

    CBS: Well, what would someone be counseled, someone in that particular case, how would that person be counseled?

    ELDER OAKS: I think a person would always be counseled to refrain from transgression, whether it’s stealing or murder or assault or sexual transgression. I think if one loves the Lord, one is concerned about His commandments. One of his Commandments is “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

    CBS: Is it the fact that it’s outside the bounds of marriage or is it that it’s the same sex?

    ELDER OAKS: The fact that it is outside the bonds of marriage is what makes it a transgression.

    CBS: So if it were homosexual marriage, would that be OK?

    ELDER OAKS: The Church does not recognize homosexual marriages. There is no Biblical or scripture warrant for homosexual marriages.

    CBS: And homosexual behavior?

    ELDER OAKS: I don’t know what you mean by “homosexual behavior.”

    CBS: No homosexual acts, sex acts.

    ELDER OAKS: Sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage are condemned by the Lord and therefore by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

  2. Ah, the plot thickens… Thanks for that.

  3. The fact that it is outside the bonds of marriage is what makes it a transgression.

    So utterly wrong.

  4. Sexual relations that are not between a husband(man) and a wife(woman) are immoral and therefore sins. I don’t think its really all that complicated. Playing semantic games doesn’t adjust the principle or law.

  5. You finished with:

    the Church may be in for some legal trouble should any members decide to engage in legalized, same-sex “marriage” or, perhaps, if any non-member, same-sex “matrimony” decides to investigate the Church and desires baptism without first divorcing.

    I’m just not seeing this. The church can deny anyone baptism for any reason they want. Has anyone ever taken legal action against the church for not being able to get baptized?

  6. What are you trying to say here? That the Church should recognize same-sex marriages? I’m not going to freak out if you do, but I am going to disagree with you. Doctrine and Covenants 131:2 makes it clear that not entering into a particular order of the priesthood excludes one from entering the celestial kingdom. The bracketed phrase indicates that this is likely the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. I don’t know who added it, but it has been made an official part of the verse, so I do feel I can refer to it that way. It still doesn’t clarify exactly what that is, but it is clarified in section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants verse 19, where it refers to a man marrying a wife (and I don’t have trouble inferring the opposite for this particular verse, it’s really not a big leap). So even if the endowment session is no longer clear, the scriptures are, and the endowment session constantly refers back to the scriptures. So, in order to enter the highest level of the celestial kingdom a man must marry a wife by the Lord’s word (19). I do feel that this is the type of Law of Chastity we are covenanting to live in the endowment because while we are making covenants in the temple the scriptures are often referred to, but not read (which means maybe we should read them after we go home), particularly the Doctrine and Covenants.

    The other thing I was wondering is are you trying to make a case for why the LDS Church should be backing policies like California’s Proposition 8? I have never felt comfortable imposing my beliefs on others, but you have made one of the strongest cases for it that I’ve seen. Maybe the Church really does need to succeed at banning same-sex marriages altogether in order to keep the temple ceremonies in line with the celestial order of things. I’m not necessarily completely sold, but I am thinking about it now. In the end I’m going to have to agree with Stephen and norcal-t, what constitutes keeping the law of chastity is really not that unclear in the scriptures, and I do not believe there could be any legitimate legal challenge to any church choosing not to marry individuals on any grounds. Or this your sneaky way of saying the State is going to inevitably interfere with religious freedoms and that’s why we need anarchy?

    I guess I’m kind of hitting a depression tonight. I was very excited to find this site along with the Mormon Worker. I had always seen myself as a kind of anarcho-socialist – I believe in shared ownership of means of production and capital, while benefits from such means of production and capital be fairly distributed according to reasonable wants and needs (I’m hoping maybe someone else might see Doctrine and Covenants parallels here). The anarcho comes in because I have lost my belief that government could ever be a good way of accomplishing that end. Karl Marx’s diagnosis has some merits, but his prognosis is horribly flawed.

    Anyway, I always thought that such a society could still respect religious freedom, and that organized religion could exist, so long as it did not impose on anyone who did not voluntary belong to that organization. Bringing it back to the post topic, I guess I also felt that meant that religions could maintain requirements of what kinds of behavior that a religion expects from its adherents, such as respecting marriage. Does this belief preclude me from being a true anarchist?

  7. No more writing late at night after really bad days. I apologize for how glum the last comment I made sounded. I don’t really care what I’m allowed to call myself, and labels always bother me. But I do stand by my assertion that the LDS Church does have the right to only recognize marriage between man and woman when considering worthiness within their own congregations. I also believe the scriptures (including modern revelation) confirm the notion only a marriage between opposite sexes can lead to salvation. It is a painful topic for me because of the many good people I know who have same-sex desires and who are unable to enjoy heterosexual marriages. I guess I just don’t have an answer for everything.

  8. On the legal question of whether the church would be in legal trouble for excommunicating a practicing homosexual despite the (arguably reasonable) interpretation that the endowment allows such conduct within homosexual marriage. The answer is, No. Religious organizations are entirely free to determine whom to include or exclude in their organization. The First Amendment protection of free exercise of religion guarantees that right to churches. The churches themselves are the sole arbiters of the qualifications of membership and any church can exclude any person for any or no reason. The LDS exclusion of practicing homosexuals, even in the realm of legal marriage, is no different.

  9. It’s interesting, here in Arizona there was a proposition on the ballot during the election that just passed. Prop 102 only did one thing, and that is add a sentence to the state constitution that defines marriage as only referring to civil unions involving one man and one woman. The church broke normal tradition and actually took a stance on something political for the first time I can ever remember, but the reason was because the lack of that amendment makes it possible for civil rights issues in the future to cause litigation against the church for refusing to perform same-sex marriages in the temple, so in response to the legal trouble, they are one step ahead on that one. The church doesn’t normally interfere with the laws of man since the laws of man have no bearing on the principals of the gospel and what they are, but when they threaten the ability of the church to perform its sacred temple ceremonies, you can bet God will provide a way for us to show our obedience by protecting his work. The proposition passed by a landslide, I think only one other proposition passed at all on that ballot.

  10. Oaks is a lawyer, and in this interview he is speaking in classic legalese (law language). Follow his thought process:

    Sexual acts outside of marriage are a transgression
    There is no biblical or scriptural warrant for homosexual marriage
    Therefore, the LDS Church does not recognize homosexual marriages

    Note that Oaks does not make any reference to revelation (new scripture) in his logic structure, leaving open the possibility that future revelation regarding acceptance of homosexual marriage can possibly be received.

    Classic lawyer!!!

  11. I am amazed at how people are putting aside their common sense and actively seeking for ways to somehow allow homosexual behavior. The devil’s advocate will parse words to try to justify any behavior while those filled with the Holy Ghost will see that the spirit of the law of chastity would never allow such a thing. I wish I could witness the judgment of such wicked individuals. I can imagine them standing before the Lord and trying to argue so-called technicalities with Him over the law of chastity. Does anyone honesty believe He would give in to such ridiculous arguments and allow them into the celestial kingdom?

  12. If the above citation said spouse instead of husband and/or wife, you might have an argument. However, the statement is clearly addressing the men and women as two different groups. In other words a husband is a man, and the wife is a woman. This concept of husband and wife is inherently part of the Law of Chastity. So, if anyone is having homosexual sex, married by law or not; it is considered unchaste. Anyone having heterosexual sex outside of a formal marital contract; is unchaste. I know this idea is different than society, but what does society really understand about: the eternal nature of men and women, eternal companionship and the command to “multiply and replenish”? Nothing, so they look to laws created by society; a type of social acceptance that won’t even mention God.

  13. The term “legally and lawfully” primarily refers to the laws of God, not men. It doesn’t matter how many laws men pass calling “marriage” something between people of the same sex. That’s not God’s definition. By the way, it’s not the prevailing legal definition or the dictionary’s definition, either.

    So a few states have passed “laws” that contradict established laws and legal definitions that have been valid for centuries. That doesn’t mean that we should accept them as legal. God doesn’t. Those who bend and sway to human ideas of what is legal could endorse any practice, no matter how repugnant, including slavery, prostitution, and executions without trial, all of which are “legal” in certain parts of the world.

    It’s God’s laws that matter, not men’s.

  14. I wonder how many people actually prayed to receive a confirmation from the Holy Ghost Himself as to whether or not the Church should have put directions to Members on Church letterhead from the First Presidency instructing them on how to attempt to influence the outcome of a political process in California. The endowment has been tweaked and tuned over the decades. That could be easily revisited if Church leaders felt is necessary to clarify the Law of Chastity in Temple proceedings, disallowing same-sex marriages. To say that political activism from the pulpit is warranted since not doing so would open a flood of married homo-sexuals storming the Temple lobby demanding to be eternally sealed is silly. We routinely yank a recommend from those who won’t stop SMOKING OR DRINKING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, even if done sparingly or in “moderation” as non-LDS people may consider “moderation”. Both moderate, limited alcohol and tobacco use are LEGAL, but that does not mean we have to let smokers and drinkers into the Temple, and we don’t. So, are we discriminating against the occasional drinker, or even the occasional cigar smoker? Yes, of course we are. We are a RELIGION, not an employer. The same rules do not apply. If we can, and we do, prevent a smoker or drinker of alcohol from entering our Temples, can you seriously tell me that we just HAVE TO let practicing, actively sexual homosexuals enter our Temples? Of course not. Homosexual sexual acts are not permitted in our Church, whether the participants are married or not, UNLESS I am mistaken, which has been known to happen; in fact it happens all the time, but upon realization, I try to self-correct. Elder Oak’s above comments almost make it murky as to whether married same-sex couples, if faithful to spouse sexually, could actually NOT be breaking the Law of Chastity. In fact, I would say it seems that he is saying they would not be breaking it. OK, who cares… even if they are not breaking that Law per se, they are still committing sexual sin, fornication, as specifically described by Apostle Paul in the New Testament, who plainly states that homosexual sexual acts are not to be practiced by members of the Church; and since when can someone actively engaging in any form of fornication, same-sex or otherwise, enter our Temples and hold a recommend, without first fully repenting, which necessarily involves totally abstaining from the sin? Yet, I have personally heard the “Well, the Prophet had to get involved, because it was a religious matter, not primarily a political one.” Oh really, then why don’t we try to get alcohol and tobacco outlawed for use by anyone, Mormon or not? Just because they are legal, does not mean we have to accept them.I prefer not to legally mandate that non-Mormons must abide a Celestial Law in all things, but rather use their own agency any way they want as long as they don’t do so in a manner that limits or takes away the rights of others. Gay men have been going at it since Sodom down to this very minute; yet they have not as yet stormed into my bedroom and prevented my wife and I from practicing the Law of Chastity, as clearly evidenced from my progeny. In most states, men who cheat on their wives are not breaking any law. Nor are young unmarried couples. Both are very common. Yet both violate the Law of Chastity. So, why no outcry and outrage inflaming movements to outlaw people living together? Why not the death penalty for cheating on a spouse as mandated by the Old Testament, and as still currently practiced in other countries. So, I sense a bit of duplicity.
    And by the way, my second answer to prayer was something akin to “You don’t live in California, so the letter was not specifically directed to you. ” My first answer was “Don’t worry about it”, after which I said “I just can’t let this go. How can I not worry about it. I am not getting a confirmation that this was right.” My last answer, after which I have inquired no more, was something akin to “The Prophet is not under your jurisdiction. He is under Mine. Will you let Me handle it? And, how do you know I have not directed him to do just as he did, for My own transcending purposes?” I let it go after that. But I still don’t get it.

  15. We are a RELIGION, not an employer. The same rules do not apply.

    This is not entirely accurate since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (R) is a corporate entity and not a free-church. Its 501c3 status makes it beholden to the state as its head. The same rules, in many cases, do — and will — apply.

  16. I suggest anyone who is reading this take a look at this link which LDSA put on his recent comment on Mormonism the Coming State Religion.
    For the record and for building a better future in Zion I was worried when I saw the churches efforts in prop 8. The problem is that it never addressed the real problem. The real problem was and is that no government on earth has the authority to pass laws regarding religious rites. Can there be a right by an earthly government to decide who partakes of the sacrament of the Lord’s flesh and blood as the LDS do nearly every Sunday? No government should have any jurisdiction over marriage by a church as a religious rite. Marriage is and should include a legal contract. The proper enforcing of this contract is the place of governments. But these two aspects of marriage need not be combined in one ceremony.
    But the true church of God should not go begging to the governments of men to perform this ordinance. And no church true or false should be told by any government who they can marry or who they can’t marry. God really does believe in agency. The only laws which governments have power to enforce is when a person violates another person’s rights of life, agency and the results of those two over time which is our property or fails to keep his promise which is contract law. So as I write this I see the answer possibly to Terry’s questions of the Lord. And to my question of why did the church get involved in the way they did?
    You see by passing a state constitutional amendment regarding marriage the church has given the US federal government a jurisdiction over a matter which the US constitution had forbidden it. Those reserved powers of the states and the people (10th amendment) are where the states claim they can govern marriage. But as the first amendment prohibits laws regarding religion the federals always could have told the states they had no say in the matter of what marriage is as a religious institution only as it is a contract. But now with a amendment to a state constitution the Federal Government has full jurisdiction in the matter.
    It won’t be long before the supreme court makes forces all states to legalize SSM. I believe the Lord wants there to be same sex marriages in the US in order to bring upon the gentiles the calamities promised. Were the leaders of the church conscious of this result? What matters is the Lord was. In order to truly try and prove His people and all people wickedness must be allowed to be freely practiced.
    Terry I didn’t know what to make of the churches involvement back when it was starting. And I was still unsure till I wrote this comment. Thank you for praying about it and sharing your answers. It makes sense to me now.
    I want to give my testimony of something I was told by the spirit when I was 7 years old. A clear thought came into my mind, “You need to be willing to chose to be good even if the prophet says it is alright to be bad.” I was 7. It could not have been the devil. I know exactly where I was when received that idea and was a total peace at the time. I have never forgot it. It has become for me the true definition of righteousness. And now in these days it the application seems clearer than ever.

  17. One of the non-canonized prophesies which I believe in is that by Heber C Kimball as related to Amanda Wilcox in 1868. You probably know it well. In it he speaks of the cleansing of the western boundaries of the State of Missouri. Then says :
    “Before that day comes, however, the Saints will be put to a test that will try the integrity of the best of them. The pressure will become so great that the more righteous among them will cry unto the Lord day and night until deliverance comes.”
    It sounds like that day has come for you. I will now begin praying for you day and night until deliverance comes. I did this for three young children who were taken out of my custody where their parents had placed them and incarcerated in a orphanage.
    They were not allowed visitors nor to attend church. After a week their father could visit once a week. I prayed day and night for them. I pronounced a priesthood blessing to protect them from the permanent damage of abuse while they were there.
    The authorities said they would review the case in two months. Miraculously they were given back to their parents in about a month and were not molested while there.
    We are praying for you brother.

  18. Thanks for the input dyc4557, and for sharing part of your testimony. My eyes were opened at the same age during a church meeting, where it was as though scales fell from my eyes and I could perceive “wolves in sheep’s covering” who were feeding upon the sheep. Interestingly, the “wolf” almost immediately recognized my change.
    I am not sure if it is me you are praying for, but if so, thanks! I need all the help I can get!

  19. Oh, and by the way…
    Have you ever had a dream where you were amongst actual sheep, though not one of them, and not human?

  20. The root of this problem began when we started thinking that the state has the authority to license marriage in the first place. It is a human right to marry. And when the state started licensing marriage — this fight was lost.

    In a free society, people can marry by whatever means they choose, and they could record the marriage for public notice if they choose. Then other people would be free to accept or reject the marriage as they choose. If a property-owner chooses to not rent a house to a couple because they reject a temple marriage, a homosexual marriage, a plural marriage, etc. — then so be it. The house is the property-ownder’s to do with as he or she pleases.

    When I was getting ready to enter the temple to be sealed to my wife and daughter, I was surprised to learn that a sealing only was not an option. By that I mean that I thought we would have three options for the ceremony in the temple:
    1) A marriage for time (A typical marriage — until death do you part)
    2) A marriage for time and all eternity (A typical temple wedding for couples who were both born as members of the Church)
    3) A marriage for eternity (A God-sanctioned marriage — no state benefits, but God recognzes your union in heaven)

    I found it to be a infringement on our agency to make my wife and I wait one year before our family could be sealed. Since 1890, our Church has been beholden to the state — a supporting piece of evidence for this is that I had to bring a state-sanctioned marriage license into God’s temple before they would solemnize our marriage in heaven.

    The problem lies in that the state is granting a license to marry at all. By giving licenses to homosexuals, the state forces everyone else to honor their marriages.

  21. It was directed at LDSA from his comment on rubber stamp of church vote. But Yes for you also brother I will pray night and day. I have a good friend of my older brother who was at our house many times while we were growing up. He tells the story that I was asked to say the prayer for the meal and I began to go on and on blessing all the livestock and all the people. My brother’s friend who was hungry whispered to my brother, “He’s never going to stop!” So don’t worry there is plenty of room for you also.

  22. No I have not had a dream like that. My job when we lived on 11 acres was to feed the two pigs all of our leftover table scraps. We had a big family so there were lots of them. When I turned 12 I was in charge of milking two cows by hand every morning. When we killed a chicken to eat my job was to pluck off its feathers. My mother who had been raised on a farm said her father said placing the dead chicken in boiling hot water made the feathers come out easier. Well it also made the feathers too hot to grab and it stunk like the lower sides of spirit prison.
    But I can not remember to this day having many (if any) dreams with animals in them. Almost always just people very close to me. I have to a very great degree been born blind to other people’s evil intents. I am naive in that way. But I can use the key given by the Lord in D&C 52:14-19 with clarity.

  23. Justin is right. You can get sealed only after you get a government license. I began to think about that and came up with the same thoughts Justin expressed. In the US the laws are or were a little closer to what the Lord has said. Namely if you covenant with a woman then you are married this is a common law marriage. Or if you live with as man and wife for 6 months you are married. We need to teach ourselves and others this fact, governments are just people with guns. And the guns don’t confer any authority from God. If a single person such as myself has no authority to say you are or are not married then neither do any or all the governments in the world.
    I don’t know why the church makes us slaves of the government regarding marriage. Wait what am I saying? Do we think we can reject a principle which God has revealed an suffer no judgment for it? As a church we rejected section 132 and since then we are slaves to our governments regarding marriages. How natural can it get?

  24. This might fit here:

    Re: the law of chastity definition. I’m no lawyer or attorney, but my understanding is that if a law doesn’t change, but the wording used to define the law has changed, then the original wording and the final wording must mean the same thing.

    The law of chastity, we are taught, is eternal and does not, nor will it, change. Also, it deals with the law of God, not the law of man. This means that the word lawfully is not referring to the law of man, but lawful according to the law of God. The current wording of the law of chastity, using the words lawfully and legally, likewise only refer to the law of God.

    Nothing has changed in the chastity. The only thing that has changed is our perception of what it means. Under the law of God, lawful and legal refers to the fact that a covenant of marriage has been entered into by the man and the woman. It there has been no covenant, there has been no marriage between the two and they are breaking the law of chastity.

    Even if one were to take the definitions and think of them as speaking of the laws of the State and not of God, it still means the same thing. If you look up the word legal, you find that it says, “Anything is legal which the laws do not forbid.” This means that if a man or a woman covenant with each other to be husband and wife without using a State marriage license, this is legal. The State laws do not forbid this. The only thing the State forbids is the mingling of races, in which case it demands a State marriage license. This is what I have heard, though I haven’t verified it. Everybody else can marry with someone of their own race without a marriage license and will not be breaking the law. And this is the test. If you marry a woman without a marriage license, can you be prosecuted and thrown into jail? No, you cannot. The law doesn’t even recognize marriages that are performed without a marriage license. Therefore, what the State doesn’t recognize and doesn’t forbid, is perfectly legal.

    Any way you look at these definitions, then, it must mean the same thing, for the law of chastity does not change.

    Taken from here. This deals with the changing of the definition of the law of chastity from only “lawfully” to “legally and lawfully”.

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