Suleiman Voices Support for Civil Marriage

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

President Michel Suleiman on Sunday expressed support for a law allowing civil marriages, currently illegal in Lebanon, saying it will help build unity in the multi-faith country.

"We should work on drafting a civil marriage law. It is a very important step in eradicating sectarianism and solidifying national unity," Suleiman wrote in Arabic and English on his Facebook page.

His views appeared alongside a photo of a man carrying his daughter on his shoulders at a rally. She is seen holding a stuffed animal and a sign reading "civil marriage, not civil war."

After only five hours online, Suleiman's post garnered more than 2,000 likes and elicited a string of comments, overwhelmingly in favor of the law.

On his Twitter account, Suleiman further asked his followers to share their opinions about civil marriage in Lebanon.

Famed Lebanese singer Elissa tweeted: "Might civil marriage encourage our politicians not to hide behind their fingers and enrich diversity in our beloved country."

Despite a long-running campaign by civil groups, such weddings still have no legal basis in Lebanon.

Former President Elias Hrawi in 1998 proposed a similar law, which gained approval from the cabinet only to be halted amid widespread opposition from the country’s religious authorities.

Most religious faiths have their own regulations governing marriage, divorce and inheritance, and mixed Christian-Muslim weddings in Lebanon are often discouraged unless one of the potential spouses converts.

The Lebanese authorities recognize civil weddings only if they have been registered abroad, and it has become common for mixed-faith couples to marry in nearby Cyprus.

Researchers and legal experts at the Civil Center for National Initiative said on Saturday that there are no obstacles in front of civil marriage in Lebanon for those who decide to remove their sects from their IDs, LBCI television reported.

“The 1936's law is more advanced and open than the ones adopted nowadays,” Change and Reform bloc MP Ghassan Moukheiber expressed in an interview with LBCI.

He stated: “We demand the state to take into consideration those that are not affiliated with any religion or sect”.

“The biggest challenge today is building citizenship,” he added.

The discussion on this issue comes soon after reports broke out about a Lebanese couple that challenged the sectarian personal status code in Lebanon and tied the knot in a first of a kind civil marriage in the country on November 11, 2012.

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.

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.

Comments 20
Default-user-icon Arsenal (Guest) 20 January 2013, 19:27

Good on Michel Suleiman. By supporting civil marriages and opposing the sectarian Orthodox proposal, he's showing that he's a true patriot--something that the lunatic Aoun has never been

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 11:37

lunatic aoun...and of course you would never say lunatic lady gaga

Missing 20 January 2013, 20:42

I never saluted anyone. But I salute you Mr. President. May be there is hope left in Lebanon. If m8 and m14 cannot put their act together, I hope he put in a centrist coalition that will move lebanon away from sectarianism, built a functional secular, pluralistic country with a strong army and unity of arm.

Thumb Chupachups 20 January 2013, 22:56

President for presidnet!

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 11:39

lol :)

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 11:41

but joke aside, this is a great president indeed

reminds me of fouad chehab

Missing peace 21 January 2013, 00:11

"Most religious faiths have their own regulations governing marriage, divorce and inheritance"

it is called equality the lebanese way! the ones who have lots to lose here are all the useless religious people making money with it!

Thumb shab 21 January 2013, 00:49

religion is poison

Thumb mike___t 21 January 2013, 11:15


Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 12:44

you mean except for judaism in your case

Thumb shab 21 January 2013, 16:35

Exactly what I mean.

Thumb bananasplit 21 January 2013, 01:08

Hooray! The first time I cheer for any Lebanese politician! Could we really finally take a first step to becoming a civil-ized country!! We should all go on his facebook & twitter account and support him so he can get a real sense of the public behind him on this issue i the face of the religious mafia.

Thumb mouallek 21 January 2013, 04:09

Civil marriage would be a decisive step to bring Lebanon on the way of modernity and unity.

Thumb sunni 21 January 2013, 06:13

At the end there's one god and we're his people...

Thumb mike___t 21 January 2013, 11:17

this law will even work farther than that... even for someones who believes there's NO GOD, marriage should be legal and approved by society

Thumb whyaskwhy 21 January 2013, 07:21

Bravo Mr. President! a well earned thanks from us all!

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 21 January 2013, 11:57

big step forward ,
but mr president, what can you do about it constitutionaly beside supporting it !!!

Missing gcb1 21 January 2013, 16:45

Great step forward, especially in light of the sectarian and divisive Orthodox electoral law proposal.

The state has no right to tell you who you should or shouldn't marry, let alone vote to.

Default-user-icon Leb Man (Guest) 21 January 2013, 17:00

Do you have a Job Mr FT?

Thumb jabalamel 21 January 2013, 17:12

look, the march 14 supporters and even the filthy zionist scum pretending to be lebanese agree with me.

historic day