If people were married for their faith but not in the eyes of the state that had an impact on taxes, pension rights, legal status of children born from such a union etc.
I remember people from my grandparents generation getting remarried as pensioners in a Catholic ceremony but not in a civil ceremony. That resulted in them not living in sin but also retaining both the pension of the man and the widow's pension of the woman. The Netherlands had already outlawed it but Belgium either hadn't in the 1960's or was not prosecuting the priests for it. It soon stopped however.
: --Previous Message--
: The law doesn't state that a civil marriage
: 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
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