BEIRUT: The family of a woman seeking a civil marriage license in Lebanon voiced disapproval Friday with their relative’s decision and said her actions did not reflect their own religious beliefs.
“The Sukkariyeh family would like to clarify that ... it is a believer of the heavenly religions and thus committed to what Islam says, particularly in terms of personal issues,” the family said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Kholoud Sukkariyeh and Nidal Darwish announced that they were in the final stages of registering the first civil marriage in Lebanon, sparking a nationwide debate over the country’s failure to recognize the civil right.
Sukkariyeh and Darwish, who deleted the mention of their sects from their Identification Cards, signed their marriage contract on Nov. 10 of last year with the assistance of a lawyer who insists that Decree 60 (L. R.) of 1936 allows Lebanese who do not belong to a particular sect to have a marriage out of religious institutions.
The relatives said their statement Friday was aimed at correcting false descriptions of the family in the media as a well as the “ruckus” that the case has generated.
It rejected the notion of civil marriage in Lebanon.
“We reject outright non-religious marriage or what some call civil marriage,” the family’s statement said.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel says he is not in the position to approve the marriage given the lack of a proper law governing civil marriage.
The family Friday distanced itself from the couple’s decision, describing their actions as “personal and does not reflect the family's [behavior].”
It added that “Nidal and Kholoud were married two months ago by a religious figure.”
“Therefore their marriage is legitimate and all it needs is official registration,” the statement said.