It just says that a civil marriage is the only legally recognized marriage ceremony. Couples can decided to go through a religious ceremony AFTER their civil marriage.
All religious celebrants (whether a rabbi, priest, reverend, imam, shaman) have to ask to see the civil marriage certificate (a little booklet that states the names of the wedded couple, their dates of birth, places of birth and the name of their parents. This booklet will also be used for the registration of future children born during the marriage).
A religious celebrant who performs a religious marriage ceremony PRIOR to the civil marriage (and this has either not checked the existence of the marriage certificate or decided to ignore its absence) is punishable under the law.
: --Previous Message--
: It's a typical result of the Napoleonic code
: where the civil wedding is the legal
: wedding. The religious ceremony officially
: is only allowed to be celebrated after the
: civil one and has no legal status other than
: for the church/religion that celebrated it.
: Most continental West-European countries
: have adapted a strict separation between
: State and Church. So why would they
: outsource something with legal consequences
: to various religions?
: Separating the civil/legal marriage from a
: religious one has also made it easier to
: open up marriage for same-sex couples. The
: law makes no distinction between couples but
: religions are free to follow their own
: ideals and cannot be forced to celebrating
: weddings of couples they don't want to
: But if the religious ceremony doesn't have a
: legal status, why then did (does?) the law
: says that a civil wedding isn't legal if the
: couple has been to church for a religious
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