In Lebanon, couples can only get married legally in a church or mosque. Because civil marriage does not exist no government officials can wed a couple. Since there isn’t a system for civil marriages, some wishing to be wed as such must be married outside of the country. Lebanon recognizes civil marriages outside the country but the couple must become officially registered in the Lebanese Embassy.
Marriages in Lebanon are performed by a religious authority and require the partner to convert to the faith of the other for the purpose of becoming one. Marriage between Muslims and Christians are highly discouraged. But a Sunni or Shia Muslim man can marry a Christian or Jewish women but a Muslim woman cannot marry either. Mixed marriage is frowned upon by society and makes getting married a lot harder. There are many laws that mixed couples have to abide by that other couples of the same faith don’t have to.
If you were to get married in Lebanon you would have to have your passport or a government issued ID. The documentation needed to have a marriage performed in Lebanon can change depending on the local authorities. Men can get married at the age of 18 and women can be married at the age of 18. With guardian permissions, girls can be married at 9 while boys can be married at 17. There are proxy or same sex marriages but cousin marriage is allowed
Looking at all of the above, it is drastically different to get married in Lebanon than in the United States. The fact that civil marriages are not even performed in Lebanon is astounding. You have to be committed to religion to get married and in the United States, couples can get married by a government official and don’t have to go the religious route. In the U.S. you could even get married in a courthouse if you wanted but in Lebanon that is not accepted. Mixed marriage is also very different in the U.S. We do not have to convert to our partner’s religion; we can freely marry whomever we want without even thinking about that. Why should we have to convert to another’s religion? Why not keep our beliefs? The fact that parent’s can let their daughters marry so young, is crazy to me. I think that they should definitely be a lot older in order to make those kinds of decisions. It is such a huge step in life and that decision being made a young age, wouldn’t end well.
Overall, it seems difficult to get married in Lebanon. I wonder how many people get married outside of the country? Do these civilians accept all of these requirements? Why is religion such a big factor in getting married? Shouldn’t they have the freedom to decide how they want to get married?
Sources: Marriage in Lebanon