i was thinking, this would explain why Rutherford was never Disfellowshiped for drinking and immorality.
Disfellowshiping only began in 1952!! Before this Witnesses were immoral!
Not only was the failure to legalise marriage sanctioned under Rutherford's tenure, getting your marriage recognised legally was seen as a serious sign of weakness according Herbert Stroup in his account of the Witnesses:
Witnesses consider it unnecessary to secure the services of licensed civil or religious authorities for a marriage ceremony. Mr Rutherford loudly protested against the religious authorities especially, who, he felt, perform marriage ceremonies without the authorization of Jehovah and purely for monetary reasons. The civil authorites also represent a part of "Satan's organization"; marriages performed by them are not recognised by Jehovah. Mr Rutherford approved the Old Testament marriage of Isaac and Rebekah at which no "third party" was present, for the good reason that God had ordained the marriage and was watching over the couple... Some present day Witnesses do marry. Those of a more conservative bent usually seek a civil or religious service, but this concession to "worldliness" is not viewed with favour by their more zealous brethren. The Jehovah's Witnesses (1945) Herbert Stroup, pages 114-115.
So it seems while Rutherford was president the policy was the exact opposite of today and legal marriages were actually frowned upon.
Thanks slimboy thats very interesting....I did not know that!