Edited by Damian on 5/8/2017, 15:25:05
: The law doesn't state that a civil marriage is
: illegal if the couple has also been through
: a religious ceremony.
: 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
: 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.
Eleonore, I don't understand the logic of this at all. If religious ceremonies don't have any legal validity in Belgium or the Netherlands, why on earth should the state be dictating to people when they can enter a church or mosque or temple to have a religious ceremony to celebrate their union? So long as they realise they are not legally married until they undergo the civil ceremony, what difference should it make to the state whether they have a church ceremony before or after the legally valid civil ceremony or whether they have any at all? It's like dictating to people on what day and at what time they are allowed to go to church. Given that church and state are strictly separate it should have nothing to do with the state what people's religious arrangements are so long as they understand that only the civil ceremony is legally valid!
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