DECEMBER 22, 2009: Marriage Bill Tabled

Marriage Bill Tabled in House
SOURCE: New Vision
By Cyprian Musoke and Joyce Namutebi

Kampala — THE Government yesterday tabled the Marriage and Divorce Bill 2009.

The bill, a revised version of the Domestic Relations Bill, was immediately sent to the legal and parliamentary affairs committee for scrutiny.

The Bill is only meant for Christian and Hindu marriages. A separate Bill for Muslims is yet to be tabled.

The original Domestic Relations Bill was for all religions but the Muslims vehemently opposed it, saying it was not in conformity with the Islamic law.

The new Marriage and Divorce Bill wants to harmonise all laws relating to marriage, separation and divorce, marital rites and duties, and recognition of cohabitation in relation to property rights.

Under the Bill, the Government will licence places of worship where marriages can be carried out.

The Bill prohibits widow inheritance, although a man can marry his relative's widow when both parties agree.

Marriage gifts are not an essential requirement for any marriage, the Bill says, and where a gift has been given it is an offence to demand for its return.

It maintains the age for marriage at 18 years, prohibits same sex marriages and marriages with a relative.

A wife can refuse sex with her husband on grounds of poor health, surgery, child birth or fear of injury or harm, including fear of disease...
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