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Faculty of Law Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Legal Studies

Beirut, 23 February 2019

Lebanese demand civil marriage on home soil

Dozens of protesters rallied in the Lebanese capital Beirut, calling on the government to recognise civil marriages carried out on home soil. The demonstrators gathered in front of Lebanon's interior ministry, days after recently-appointed Interior Minister Raya al-Hasan said she is willing to engage in "serious and profound dialogue" over the issue. The minister's comments prompted a backlash from religious bodies, including the highest Sunni authority in Lebanon, and stirred debate on social media.

Lebanon has 15 separate personal status laws for its recognised religions but no civil code covering issues such as marriage. Many Lebanese couples travel to neighbouring Cyprus to tie the knot in a civil ceremony, because Lebanese authorities recognise such unions only if they have been registered abroad.

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