No, they didn’t go to Cyprus. They didn’t travel to the end of the world to have their marriage signed. Yes, they are religious – she is veiled. But a Lebanese couple who wanted to get married decided that they wanted their union to be an embodiment of civil, not religious, rights. And so they became the first couple to – legally – have a civil marriage in Lebanon. For the full story, click here.
What Khouloud and Nidal did was to remove their sect from their personal records according to Decree No. 60 L.R. from the Lebanese constitution, which meant there was no religious court for them to get married in. The couple signed their civil marriage document on November 10th.
Their marriage is now subject to consultations at Lebanon’s ministry of interior affairs. Because this is so big.
According to the article I linked to earlier, the decree the couple used is simply not making an administrative disclosure of your corresponding sect, which makes you liable in front of civil, not religious, court.
After removing their sect from legal documents as per decree 60 L.R., the couple went through the following process:
- Get a paper from the “Mokhtar” allowing the marriage.
- Publish the marriage decision 15 days in advance either in the Official Gazette or in two newspapers or on your parents’ door.
- Get legal documents from notary public that contain all the items in the marriage contract.
This sounds like a whole lot of paperwork. And it is. But at least now we know that a civil marriage in Lebanon is possible.
The news of this marriage comes at a time when many of the country’s politicians are discussing the possibility of adding a 19th officially recognized sect to the country – the sect of those who don’t have a sect or don’t want their sect to dictate every aspect of their legal life (atheists, people like this couple who don’t wish to be identified by their sect, etc…).
Here’s hoping the ministry of interior affairs doesn’t throw hurdles in front of this couple’s union because their marriage is apparently perfectly legal. And here’s hoping our religious folk don’t start advocating to close this loophole in our constitution.
This marriage, though, needs to be put in Lebanese perspective because it’s not really a fairytale. (Click here).