NY TIMES - Mar 6 - Marriage can take place from opposite ends of the globe over Skype. These are called proxy marriages, a legal arrangement that allows a couple to wed even in the absence of one or both spouses. They date back centuries. The procedure had been used infrequently in the US, usually by deployed members of the military worried about being killed and leaving loved ones without benefits. But it is increasingly being used in immigrant communities, where people are seeking to marry partners from their homelands without the expense of matchmaking trips abroad. Such convenience has also raised concerns that it will facilitate marriage fraud. Only a few states permit proxy marriages, and most require one partner to be in the military. But the United States generally recognizes foreign marriages as long as they are legally conducted abroad and do not break any laws here. George Andrews, the operations manager for Proxy Marriage Now, a company that facilitates such unions worldwide for a fee, said technology, like Skype, was driving the growth of proxy marriages. In the seven years the company has been in existence, business has increased by 15% annually to up to 500 weddings a year. The share not involving someone in the military has grown to 40%.