Marrying across religions can sometimes prove to be difficult. Partners-to-be and parents may bully one part of the couple to convert to a religion whose values they neither understand nor like.
Even where one part of the couple is willing to convert, his or her parents may refuse to have the conversion take place.
What does a couple do in such situations?
Paul, who works at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), says when his Catholic niece found herself in a situation where her parents were refusing to bless her marriage to a Muslim – if it came with a conversion to Islam – the niece and her groom marched themselves off to the URSB to be married.
Paul says he has seen a number of couples in situations as his niece’s go for civil unions. Certainly, this type of wedding will only work if parents are only against a conversion to another religion, and not when they object to the man or woman from that religion.
What other benefits do civil marriages at the registrar’s confer?
They are almost hassle-free. With a birth certificate, passport photo, identity card and letters from one’s parents and local council (LC) representative stating that the parties wishing to get married are not known to be married to other people, the wedding ceremony will be performed.
One will walk away with their certificate too. Certificates from other types of marriage have to be filed at the registrar’s before a marriage is registered.
For those seeking to travel abroad and live with their partners there, the quick marriage at the registrar’s is convenient.
After a couple notifies a registrar that they have to get married, notice of their intentions is given over a 21-day period. Those who wish to stop the marriage for valid reasons may do so during this period. If they don’t, the couple is wed.
Paul says that a number of mixed-race couples get married at the registrar’s.
For those seeking to have monogamous marriages, a marriage at the registrar’s is ideal.
“While my niece was happy getting married to a Muslim man, she was not happy about the possibility of polygamy. This is the other reason she gave for coming here,” Paul says of the niece who got married in jeans and T-shirt, and is not bound by any religion’s doctrines.
Source : The Observer