In debates over same sex marriage it is sometimes proposed that marriage be completely deinstitutionalised in favour of state recognised civil unions. This would not be a return to common law marriages, but for marriage to have no legal standing at all, and for "husband" and "wife" to have no more legal relevance than "boyfriend" or "girlfriend". "Marriage" would become an optional and voluntary social term for anyone who wants to use it.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says:
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Would deinstitutionalising marriage in this manner violate the UDHR? The declaration could be read as requiring states to institutionally recognise marriages, or only that they not have laws that would contravene these rights.