On April 7, the media reported a story of a ‘holy marriage’ between a Muslim man and a Catholic woman, officiated at a Catholic church in Masaka District, was all over the place.

While the couple was married by the church and blessed by their parents, the unusual union attracted criticism from sections the public. They reportedly said the marriage is not acceptable and cannot be recognised.

But officials at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) endorsed the marriage, saying it is legal.

However, this marriage is a representation of the many couples who are currently keeping their affairs a secret. They fear to officiate their relationships because they are limited by the religious and societal demands, including from their own parents.

Those who have forced their marriage have in some cases been disowned. This disadvantages their children. Others have secretly turned to URSB to officiate their marriage, the customary way. The Bible in Proverbs 18:22, says ‘He who finds a wife, finds a good thing’ and in Mathew 19:3 when the Pharisees tested Jesus, by asking him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason, He replied, ‘What God has put together, let not man separate.’ The question is, why should we condemn a marriage that God has put together?

Religion, society and parents have often influenced their children’s marriage life over flimsy reasons, which should not be the case.
Annet Nakibuuka,
anakibuuka@path.org