Mideast Lebanon Civil Marriage

February 1, 2013 - 4:31 PM
In this picture taken on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, Lebanese couple Kholoud Sukkarieh, left, and her husband Nidal Darwish, right, pose during an interview with the Associated Press, in Beirut, Lebanon. She was an English language tutor with an easy smile and an independent streak. He was a gym receptionist who wanted to better himself. They met for English lessons, swapped views on life and fell in love. Three months ago, a notary married them before their friends and family _ but not in the eyes of the Lebanese government. The would-be marriage of Kholoud Sukkarieh and Nidal Darwish _ which the government has not recognized because a religious official did not register it _ has sparked a fierce debate in Lebanon over civil marriage and how its legalization would affect the country’s tenuous sectarian system. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)