BEIRUT: Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi Friday called on Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to approve civil marriage in Lebanon.
“I hope the interior minister will go along with the Higher Committee of Consultations’ decision regarding civil marriage,” Qortbawi told a news conference, saying the country was experiencing sectarianism like never before.
A Justice Ministry committee on Monday ruled Monday that a recently executed civil marriage in Lebanon is legal, the lawyer of the couple told The Daily Star.
Although not binding, the committee concluded that Lebanese not belonging to any sect have the right to hold civil marriages in Lebanon.
The committee said notary publics have the authority to oversee civil marriage contracts, and – in the absence of Lebanese civil law to govern the marriage – that the couple has the freedom to designate a civil law.
Charbel immediately replied, saying he will look into the ruling before approving it, but simultaneously cited Lebanon’s lack of legislation to govern the procedure as justification.
At the news conference, Qortbawi hailed the committee’s decision.
“I do not hide I'm proud of the work done by the Higher Committee of Consultations ... I understand the interior minister’s concerns given the difficulties that lie ahead and I urge him to carry on with this action,” Qortbawi said.