Spouses in Uganda who are hoping that the country’s lawmakers will adopt what they consider to be more modern and realistic grounds for divorce received some bad news last week, after the Ugandan Church formally announced that it won’t support the Marriage and Divorce Bill currently being debated in Uganda’s parliament.
The proposed Bill, which was initially tabled back in 2009, would allow spouses (under specific conditions) to file for divorce upon claiming that their marriage is “irretrievably broken,” or in cases involving cruelty, desertion, incest, sodomy, pornography, homosexuality, sexual perversion or bestiality. It would also recognize cohabitation with respect to property rights, and introduce new regulations on how marital assets would be distributed after divorce.
“Marriage for us in the church is not a union of convenience but it is a lifelong partnership that can only be extinguished by the death of the partners,” stated Reverend Stanley Ntagali, chair of the Uganda Joint Christian Council. “During marriage, the couples make vows in which they undertake to share everything they have — including their property — with each other in times of health or sickness and to remain husband and wife until they are separated by death.”
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