45 countries received the grade "0" for severe restrictions on freedom of marriage

Hiddush- Freedom of Religion for Israel, an Israeli organization promoting religious freedom and equality launched the Freedom of Marriage World Map. It is the first online resource to provide a global comparison of freedom of marriage. The interactive website features a color-coded map in black, grey, and white, representing the grading from 0-2.

  • 45 countries around the world, 23% of the 194 countries examined have severe restrictions on freedom of marriage (grade 0).
  • In 56 countries (29%) there are partial restrictions on freedom of marriage (grade 1).
  • Freedom of marriage or almost full freedom of marriage (grade 2) exists in almost half of the world's countries (93 countries or 48%).

The map's address is: http://marriage.hiddush.org/.

Almost every country in Europe and 75% of the Americas permit full or almost-full freedom of marriage. 73% (33) of the countries that received "0" (severe restrictions) are Muslim and enforce Sharia law.

Israel received a "0" in the report. The strict religious monopoly on marriages in Israel results in hundreds of thousands of citizens who are denied the right of marriage altogether and millions more who are deprived of the ability to choose a marriage ceremony that befits their beliefs.

Stanley P. Gold, Hiddush Chair says, "We are proud to raise awareness of the importance of international freedom of marriage and the obstacles that still remain on the way to its full attainment." Gold hopes that the map "will not only benefit Israelis but also other groups that are working to promote freedom of marriage around the world.”

Hiddush CEO Rabbi Uri Regev explained, "Hiddush was founded to advance religious freedom and equality in Israel. When comparing Israel's status of marriage freedom to the rest of the world, we realized there was no global comparative document in existence. Israel is currently the only democracy in the world that imposes severe restrictions on its citizens' marriage. Our hope is the map will help change the current policy in keeping with the majority of the Israeli public and universal standards of democracy and civil liberties.

The map's research was headed by Natasha Roth. The project was produced by Hiddush Spokesman, Miki Sokolovsky and edited by Hiddush Vice President for Research and Information, Shahar Ilan. The map was designed and built by Lionways Inc with assistance from the New Israel Fund.

For more information: http://bit.ly/18n6c9y