For Valentine’s Day numerous inter-religious couples' phased mock weddings at a bar in Beirut's hip Gemmayze district to protest the country’s rigid marriage laws. So far civil weddings between inter-religious couples are only recognised if the marriage did not occur on Lebanese territory. For a country with a handful of religious sects, this makes a tacky situation for countless people into cross-sectarian couples.
Ahead of Valentine's Day in Beirut some couples are staging symbolic weddings. It's part of a long-running campaign to allow civil ceremonies in a country where only religious marriages are legally recognized, a move that would help couples of different faiths.
Lebanese couples stage symbolic 'civil weddings'
Lebanon moves to tackle religious discrimination
Lebanon dispenses citizens from revealing their religious affiliation on civil registry records.
BEIRUT - Lebanon's Interior Minister Ziad Baroud issued a memorandum this week dispensing citizens from revealing their religious affiliation on civil registry records.
The memo issued on Wednesday states that in future anyone can cross out their confessional identity from official records and replace it with a slash sign.
Anti-sectarian law only skin-deep in Lebanon
February 15th, 2009
Posted by: Yara Bayoumy
When Lebanese Interior Minister Ziad Baroud issued a memorandum giving Lebanese citizens the option to remove their sect from civil registry records, it seemed like a step towards removing deeply embedded sectarianism from Lebanon’s social fabric.
The country has been convulsed by bouts of sectarian violence, most notably the 1975-90 civil war, in which 150,000 people were killed, and more recently last May when a power struggle spilled into armed conflict and supporters of Shi’ite Hezbollah briefly took over parts of Sunni western Beirut.
Study the measure a little more closely and some questions emerge. What happens to those wanting to run for seats in parliament, which are distributed according to sect to satisfy Lebanon’s delicate power-sharing balance? What about citizens who have to go to court over personal status issues, which in Lebanon are presided over by courts run by religious sects? Ultimately, they have no choice but to reveal their religious affiliation.