Alarabiya reported that Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said that Lebanon’s Justice Ministry rejected a request to legalize civil marriages.
Charbel told An-Nahar newspaper in an interview published Monday: "The Interior Ministry referred the marriage request to the Justice Ministry’s advisory panel, which studied the request and did not approve on it due to the absence of a law that regulates civil marriage."
"Any similar request will not be approved" the minister added, urging for a new law that regulates civil marriage.
"There must be a law to regulate the personal status, marriage and divorce as well inheritance and other similar issues."
Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi told the paper that he was unaware of the advisory panel’s rejection of the civil marriage request.
"I am not updated on the issue’s details, but I support optional civil marriage in principle," Qortbawi said.
"If there are no laws pertaining to civil marriage, I support finding such laws as soon as possible."
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman on Sunday expressed support for a law allowing for civil marriage, currently illegal in the country, saying it will help build unity in the multi-faith Middle Eastern country. Read "Lebanese President Michel Sleiman Supports Civil Marriage Currently Illegal in Lebanon"