It's a starry night at Brennan's in the French Quarter. A 10-carat diamond has been nestled in the Bananas Foster by a handsome swain under the influence of one too many romantic comedies. As his lovely maiden scoops up the ring, he asks, "Will you marry me?" Her face lights up with joy. But a moment later a slight frown crosses her pretty brow. Looking deep into his eyes, she inquires, "Do you mean really, really marry you?"

Welcome to marriage Louisiana-style. Last week the state legislature passed a stricter form of holy matrimony called covenant marriage. It differs from its...

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