Qortbawi Advises Parliamentary Action on Civil Marriage over Miqati's Rejection to Discuss it

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Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi reiterated on Sunday his support for civil marriage, saying any lawmaker can propose a draft-law in parliament for discussion.

In an interview with Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3), Qortbawi said that if Prime Minister Najib “Miqati continued to reject putting the issue on the cabinet's agenda, then any MP can propose a draft-law so that it takes the path of legislation in parliament.”

Last Tuesday, Miqati told the cabinet that “the issue has been raised in the past and it led to conflicting stances back then and there is no need to engage in futile discussions.”

“The current circumstances require rapprochement and this issue is not on the table,” he stressed.

However, the issue came at the forefront of discussions when President Michel Suleiman announced last week that Lebanon should work on drafting a civil marriage law in an important step towards the eradication of sectarianism and the consolidation of national unity.

Suleiman made his call after Kholoud Sukkariyah and Nidal Darwish challenged the sectarian personal status code and tied the knot last November by removing the reference of their sects from their respective IDs and basing their marital contract on the decree.

But the interior ministry hasn't yet approved their union.

The couple “have put the officials in the (position of) responsibility on the necessity of completing what's missing and legislating what is necessary to adopt the law,” Qortbawi said.

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.

Suleiman said on twitter on Saturday that “drafting new laws is a joint cooperation between the president, MPs, ministers,the civil society and others, not a solo effort.”

“Some Politicians oppose #civilmarriageleb but that will not change my beliefs nor will it deter me from getting the train on the right track,” he said.

Comments 2
Default-user-icon Nael (Guest) 27 January 2013, 19:17

The only people worse than the politicians in Lebanon are the religious men.

At least the Lebanese can take comfort in knowing that, when it comes to the stupidity of religion, they are all equal, Muslim and Christian.

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 27 January 2013, 20:05