Couple Defy Personal Status Code, Wed in Lebanese Civil Ceremonyإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
A Lebanese couple have challenged the sectarian personal status code in Lebanon, tying the knot in a first of a kind civil marriage in the country on November 11, 2012, LBCI television reported on Friday.
“Kholoud Sukkariyah and Nidal Darwish removed the reference of their sects from their respective IDs and based their marital contract on Decree No. 60 L.R,” said Lawyer Talal Husseini, who authored the draft.
The decree, which organizes and recognizes religious communities and grants them rights, says those who are not affiliated with a sect are subject to the civil law of personal status, as well as to the introduction of the Constitution which adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Husseini explained.
“Kholoud and Nidal's marital contract was signed by the Notary Public and it was referred to Interior Minister Marwan Charbel who will look into its legitimacy,” LBCI remarked.
“An activist in the civil society suggested when she learned about our intention to marry in a civil union, to do it in Lebanon and not abroad,” the bride said, explaining how the process began.
What followed later was completing the necessary paper work, requesting a proof of eligibility of marriage from the mukhtar (local mayor) and asking the notary to prepare a document that lists the articles of the union's conditions and the financial disclosure.
“We also had to announce the marriage 15 days prior to the actual ceremony, in case someone has a reason to oppose it,” the bride added.
Lawyer and civil activist Munif Hamdan confirmed to MTV: “This marriage is legal and we only lack scientific and cultural courage to adopt civil unions in Lebanon”.
"If the Ministry of Interior approves it, it would hence opened the door towards civil society and secularism in Lebanon,” Hamdan expressed.