First, let’s begin by exposing the practical difficulties of Civil Marriage in Lebanon for religious couples. (So we are here allowing the choice of a civil marriage).
Let’s imagine that a couple, a Muslim man and a Christian woman decide to marry, it is religiously possible, and yet they decide to marry secularly first, and then with a Sheikh. The young couple decides to have children and that they will be able themselves to choose their religion (or its absence), the Father won’t push the children towards Islam and the mother won’t push them to Christianity. Eventually the father dies, and the inheritance must be made, the late father didn’t write a will so the family of the man decides that it will be made according to the Islamic law and believe that the children, born from a Muslim man, are Muslims so it is applicable to them, the Children, now grown-ups and with their own beliefs, decide that the inheritance must be made equally made between them. (they’re brother and sister and Islamic law stipulated that the man must inherit double the woman). Eventually, there will be a huge mess between the state secular lawyers and the Islamic jurisprudence. What law should be applied?
For this situation I believe that the children decide for themselves, if we suppose they didn’t register a sect.
A similar situation is that the father (with the Ok from his wife) wants his inheritance to be applied by Islamic law for their children, but the children didn’t accept this. The couple married secularly and religiously, and the children in this new scenario are registered as Muslims. What will follow?
Let’s not even other much more complicated situation like the inheritance of young children if the father dies, or a divorce, etc etc. This is just to provide the technical difficulties it can bring.
Despite all these difficulties, everyone should have the right to marry in his own way, be it secular or religious.
Let’s imagine that an atheist couple want to marry to benefit from the laws and well, and well, be called a married couple! Why should they pass by the religious ceremony when it doesn’t apply to them? They have every right to marry the way they like. And it’s not only applied to atheists of course, everyone should be able to choose between secular marriage and religious marriage.
I don’t believe it should be mandatory because it would bring a shock to religious authorities and people that simply don’t want civil marriage in their lives, again, it’s their choice. It’s maybe too soon.
Here’s article 3 of the Lebanese constitution.
Three. Lebanon is a parliamentary democratic Republic based on respect for public liberties, especially the freedom of opinions and belief, and respect for social justice and equality of rights and duties among all citizens without discrimination.
This article should push the Lebanese law to allow for civil marriage. A LOCAL civil marriage is already legal. According to experts, a law decree that dates from 1936 already grants people not affiliated with any sect to marry. Interior minister (pro optional civil marriage) should not slow down the processus by not recognising civil marriage made locally.
Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk supports the principle of optional civil marriage in Lebanon, but the absence of a civil law setting out the procedures of the practice currently makes it impossible for the ministry to recognise civil marriage contracts registered with Lebanon’s public notary, a statement said. – See more here.
I understand that there’s an absence here, but instead of completely rendering those marriages unrecognisable, he must AT LEAST call for a debate on civil marriage and propose a clear law to set out the procedures. It is time the unconstitutionally extended Parliament follow simple principles of the Lebanese constitution and especially look at this one.
Eight. The abolition of political sectarianism shall be a basic national goal and shall be achieved according to a gradual plan.
This article should ring up a bell in the heads of every MP. Granting at least an option to civil marriage is I believe part of the gradual plan towards sectarianism end.
Tomorrow, Sunday the 1st of March, a protest will call for civil and secular rights granted by the constitution. Here’s the details on Facebook.
Finally, it is super important to say that civil marriage doesn’t turn a human being into an infidel or immoral person and it is absurd to believe so.