Green-card pitch for foreign male spouses draws activists’ ire

Green-card pitch for foreign male spouses draws activists’ ire

By The Daily Star
Friday, February 26, 2010

BEIRUT: The campaign, My Nationality: a Right for me and my Family, has asked Kesrouan MP Neamatallah Abi Nasr to apologize for offending Lebanese women, especially those married to foreign men.

The request was part of a series of reactions to Abi Nasr’s draft law presented earlier this month, which suggested giving children and husbands of Lebanese women married to foreigners a green card. The card would guarantee them civil rights except political rights, such as the right to vote and to acquire Lebanese nationality.

The campaign issued a statement Thursday accusing Abi Nasr of underestimating the suffering of Lebanese women married to foreigners as well as their families. “The MP insists on ignoring their pain and justifying his proposal, which denies women their rights to citizenship and equality,” it said.

The statement also condemned what it called Abi Nasr’s suspicions about the motives behind the campaign.

“The concerned women and the public have been clearly aware from the start of the campaign’s goals,” it said.

Lebanon’s current nationality law lets men to pass on their citizenship to non-Lebanese wives and children but denies Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese the same right. Over 18,000 Lebanese women are married to non-Lebanese living in Lebanon.

The statement stressed that the suggested green card was not the answer. “The solution is to give Lebanese women their full rights without sectarian and demographic discrimination,” it said.

The Daily Star

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