Major news coming out of Tunisia, as it becomes the first Arab country to recognize same-sex marriage.
Unfortunately, there’s a catch, and it’s a pretty big one.
Turns out, the country didn’t really mean to recognize the union.
Read on for the full scoop to learn how it happened and what they plan to do about it now.
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Tunisia Becomes First Arab Country To Recognize Same-Sex Marriage
The news coming all the way from Tunisia says that the government legally recognized a gay couple, formed from a Frenchman of 31 years, and a Tunisian man, of 26 years old.
The couple remained anonymous for their safety, as homosexuality is still illegal in Tunisia.
Their marriage was officiated in France, as Tunisia doesn’t allow same-sex weddings.
So, how did Tunisia become the first Arab country to recognize same-sex marriage if it’s still illegal?
The answer lies in a technicality, which is possibly an admin error.
Admin error recognizes same-sex marriage in Tunisia
The process required modification of the birth certificate in the Tunisian registry.
After the wedding, the Tunisian man received a visa for family reunification.
This is not yet confirmed by the Republic of Tunisia’s government, but SHAMS, the LGBTQ+ rights association in Tunisia is celebrating a first step!
Mounir Baatour, the Shams president, said in an interview.
[It is a] success of which I am very proud. We won… against the many post-revolutionary political-judicial regimes! This is not the least of my satisfaction. To my knowledge, Shams is now the only [LGBT+] legal association in the Arab-Muslim world. This is not nothing and offers us hardly believable opportunities, sometimes beyond our borders.
In Tunisia, the LGBT people are faced with a big challenge, and they don’t have the freedom to express themselves.
The local news called the event ‘heresy’, but the government didn’t confirm or infirm anything after Tunisian news site Nawaat contacted them.
The minister Lotfi Zitoun said.
There is no centralization of civil status data at the ministry of local affairs. We are therefore in the process of verifying the information. If it is true, know that it is against the law. French law does not allow recognition of same-sex marriage by Maghreb countries. There was a precedent, an error committed by the municipality of Tunis. And it has been rectified.
So, what’s the catch? Did the government made a mistake, or they are trying to slowly shift into accepting gay marriages and are testing the public opinion?
Is This The Beginning Of Same-Sex Marriages In The African Countries?
Peter Tatchell, the LGBT+ human rights campaigner, wants to be optimistic, but he knows there’s a lot of work ahead of him.
In an interview for the Jerusalem Post, he said.
This recognition of a gay marriage is a milestone in the Arab world. But it is indirect recognition, and not the legalisation of marriage between same-sex couples. Even if it is appealed or overturned, this is a breakthrough that will give hope to LGBT+ people in Tunisia and across North Africa and the Middle East..
We are very curious to see what is going to happen we will keep you updated with everything we find out!