People who undergo a religious marriage ceremony before taking part in a civil one will face fines, if draft legislation proposed by the right-wing Liberal VVD and left-wing green party GroenLinks wins parliamentary approval.
The measure is particularly aimed at Islamic weddings and aims to stop ‘the creation of a parallel society in which Islamic law takes priority over Dutch law,’ VVD MP Jeroen van Wijngaarden told Radio 1 news.
Currently clerics can be fined if they oversee a religious ceremony before a couple have gone through a civil ceremony but ‘some Imams ignore the rules’, Van Wijngaarden said.
The VVD and GroenLinks hope that by changing the rules, women will not be disadvantaged in the case of divorce and that it will be more difficult to go through arranged and forced marriages.
Dutch law currently states that marriage partners must be over the age of 18 and not married to anyone else at the same time.
The two parties also want the justice ministry to get tougher on clerics who break the rules.
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