[ View the story "Debate over civil marriage in Lebanon" on Storify] Debate over civil marriage in Lebanon Online spar between government leaders creates wider discussion.
The Stream· Tue, Jan 29 2013 13:45:48
Here is the original tweet from President Michel Suleiman calling for legislation to allow civil marriages in Lebanon. The first tweet reads:
Respond to the evolution and aspirations of the people and prepare the appropriate laws for the issue of civil marriage.
للتجاوب مع التطور ومتطلبات الشعب وايجاد القوانين المناسبة لموضوع الزواج المدني-MS #civilmarriageleb #lebanon #presidencyMichel Sleiman
Some Politicians oppose #civilmarriageleb but that will not change my beliefs nor will it deter me from getting the train on the right trackMichel Sleiman
Many Twitter users reacted positively to the president's position on civil marriage.
@habdelnour @najib_mikati thats why all the respect to president @michelsleiman for supporting this topic. #lebanonRami Akl
@SleimanMichel its one of the basic rights in a democratic system Mr.President,we believe in ur fight for democracy #respectAnonymous
For his part, Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati was reluctant to endorse or condemn civil marriages.
I believe that the civil marriage issue cannot be dealt with from a top-down approachNajib Mikati
It's up to all national stakeholders to get into consensus about it.Najib Mikati
His comments provoked backlash from Twitter users.
@Najib_Mikati oh i just understood.. Ur with concubinage. I totally agree. Better than the intersectarian 'end of the world' #civilmarriageDima
PM Miqati says cant discuss civil marriage in #Lebanon bc we dont need another 'contentious issue'. Instead, we should just stay backwards.Nour Samaha
@Najib_Mikati This is our right, & you are just one of those who denies the people their basic rights. Oops, we forgot you're Assad's friendMohanad Hage Ali
Netizens debated the issue using the hashtag #civilmarriageleb.
Do people who are against #CivilMarriageLeb grasp that it's optional not obligatory?So it's just about FREEDOM OF CHOICE really.. #LebanonSara Assaf
#forcivilmarriageinlebanon because its the main way to start moving from sectarianism to secularism. #civilmarriagelebmohamad chebaro
As much as I want it to happen, civil marriage probably won't be legalized in Lebanon and this all is just to distract us from the electionsAdham
Qabbani issued his decree against civil marriages on the website
, the official institution for fatwas in Lebanon. Translation:
Therefore I am issuing a fatwa with the help of God Almighty: "That any of Lebanon's Muslim politicians in the executive and legislative branch who agree to legislate and execute civil marriage are renegades and are outside the religion of Islam.
ولذلكَ فإنني أُفتي مُستَـعيناً باللهِ العظيم: "بأنَّ كلَّ مَن يوافقُ من المسئولينَ المسلمينَ في السلطة التَشريعيةِ والتنفيذيةِ في لبنان، على تشريعِ وتقنينِ الزَواجِ المدَنيّ، هوَ مُرتَدٌّ وخارِجٌ عن دينِ الإسلامdarfatwa.gov.lb
Netizens responded to Qabbani's decree on Twitter.
The 1800s called #Lebanon Mufti Qabbani. They want their Ottoman personal affairs back. #Say_yes_to_Lebanon_civil_marriageHussain AbdulHussain
Qabbani issued fatwa that Muslim officials endorsing civil marriage are apostates & outside Islam. Proving how meaningful a fatwa is today.Arie Amaya-Akkermans
Lebanese in favour of civil marriage created a
to share photos and stories of their civil marriages abroad.
<div>Maya Bou Ayache and Riccardo Chelleri, civil marriage, Brussels on the 13th of September 2008.</div>Maya Bou Ayache
<div>Civil marriage, Ayia Napa, June 5th 2008, Monica</div>George Elkhabbaz