Organising weddings at home illegal – Lawyer reacts to Nsiah-Asare’s advice

A private legal practitioner, Sylvester Assan says asking people to organise weddings at home, will be promoting illegal marriages.

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A private legal practitioner, Sylvester Assan says asking people to organise weddings at home, will be promoting illegal marriages.

This comes after the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, stated that churches will not be allowed to host marriage ceremonies to curb the spread of COVID-19 despite still being able to hold services.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Dr. Nsiah-Asare said marriage ceremonies could be held in homes with a maximum of 25 persons.

“We are not saying you can’t have marriages. You can go to the house of your family or the girl’s family and then get married. Make sure you don’t have a large crowd there to cause any problems for us, and you follow the protocols.”

But according to Mr. Assan, the wedding ban should be imposed properly because weddings cannot be organised in the privacy of a home.

Also speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Assan stated that “This is purely about the law. It is fatally wrong and preposterous to say that you can have your marriage at home and I want to say that to celebrate marriages and weddings at home, if that is customary or traditional marriage at home then there is no problem with that but if that marriage is to be done under the ordinance or what people call church marriage or under the marriage officers certificate, then that marriage cannot be done at home. You cannot ask the Bishop or the head of the church to come and celebrate a marriage in your house, it cannot happen under the Act because your home is not licensed to celebrate a marriage.”

“You cannot have a Christian marriage in the home. If you have that, it is a blessing of the traditional marriage and that can be done anywhere. But if you want to call it a church marriage or marriage officers certificate as sanctioned under the Marriage Act, or where people want the church to give them a marriage certificate through the court, then that kind of marriage cannot be done in the privacy of your home. The wedding ban should be imposed properly because if you state that people should organise weddings at home, you will be promoting illegal marriages,” he added.

Government banned full-blown wedding ceremonies not marriages – Oppong Nkrumah
The indefinite suspension of weddings as announced by President Akufo-Addo during his 23rd Coronavirus update last Sunday has left many in a state of confusion as to constitutes wedding during this period especially because religious activities are still being organised fully.

The Minister of Information designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, at a media engagement on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, categorically stated that marriage ceremonies which are organized in churches and mosques can still be held in strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols.

He clarified that, the receptions that are usually associated with such events are what have been banned as part of the restrictions on social gatherings.

“We’ve got a lot of requests about so what if somebody is having a church service, which is allowed, and they choose to bless their marriage there as part of the church service. I’m not sure that is what has been banned. It’s the wedding. The full-blown wedding with its reception and social activity associated with it is what has been banned.”

“The president did not say that marriages are banned. What the president has said is that, what in Ghana we call wedding, the full-blown wedding where we have a big party with a reception and people dancing and people eating, sitting at reception tables, etc, that is what has been banned,” he added.