Comparative Models for Transitioning from Religious to Civil Marriage Systems


religion, marriage, minority, majority, respect, fairness, Christian, Muslim, global, rights, interests

Document Type



Looking to other models of civil marriage can only be suggestive rather than prescriptive. It is unlikely that the solution in any one place will serve as a template or road map that can be used to navigate very different terrain.

One of the most important approaches that we can take when dealing with difficult social and political issues is to think about the issue from the point of view of the minority (when we find ourselves in the religious or political majority) and from the point of view of the majority (when we are in a political or religious minority). Ultimately, all of us benefit from the realization that, when it comes to religion, we all belong to a religious minority. In the flat, crowded and dangerous world in which we live, there is no such thing as a religious majority. Even Christians, with their billion or so, and Muslims, with their billion or so, are a religious minority when we think from a global perspective. Remembering the rights and interests of minorities is especially important at times when we find ourselves in temporary or localized majorities. Our claims to be treated fairly and with respect when we are in the minority will be stronger if we treat others fairly and with respect when we are in the majority.


12 J.L. & Fam. Stud.

Publication Title

Journal of Law & Family Studies

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