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Compulsory Marriage Registration To Be Introduced

The Indian Church supports plan that would require the Union and state governemtns to adopt legislation making marriage registration mandatory. Mgr Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Agra and newly-appointed chairperson of the Commission for Social Communications, told Asia News that the Church will also set up its own group of experts to study any bill to make sure it will not leave Christians out in the cold.

This comes after india's Supreme Court gave India's central and state government three months to enact legislation making it compulsory to register all marriages. Under the old rules, proof of a traditional religious marrige ceremony was sufficient.

Women rights groups say it will curb crimes such as bigamy and marriage without consent.Archbishop Gracias, who is currently in bangalore for the end of the general assembly of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of India, said that although he has not yet read any draft proposal, he is certain that "it will not discriminate on the basis of religion." The prelate does however note that the existing " Christian Marriage Act" already provides for marriage have always been legal; marriage documents are always sent to the marriage registrar," he said.


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