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Civil Marriages to Mark Anniversary of Civil War

In a symbolic ceremony to be held on April 13, the anniversary of the outbreak of the civil war, Lebanese couples will obtain civil marriages in a gesture of national unity, writes Mohammad Harfoush.
A man kisses a woman as they hold up a placard during a protest demanding to legalize civil marriage in Lebanon, at Martyrs' square in downtown Beirut February 4, 2013. Lebanese laws do not recognise civil marriages conducted in Lebanon. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi   (LEBANON - Tags: CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3DCHX
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On Apr. 13, instead of commemorating the outbreak of the civil war, some Lebanese will hold a civil wedding in Martyr’s Square. A group of young Christian and Muslim men and women are organizing a collective civil-wedding ceremony.

This event will take place amid an ongoing debate on a personal status civil law that was first proposed in the early 1950s, although many political and religious leaders continue to refuse to legalize civil marriage. As a result, many Lebanese seeking a civil marriage travel to other countries that permit it. Ironically, once these civil marriages are registered in Lebanon, Lebanese courts rule according to the law of the countries where the marriage took place.

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