Morocco has just ended their firmly established rule that unmarried couples and solo women could not stay in a hotel room unless they presented a marriage license. 

Despite the fact this rule was not formally written into Moroccan law, it had been established for decades in the African country, with hotels regularly refusing to host women travelling alone and couples not formally married. 

Hotels across Morocco have now been informed by authorities that they are not allowed to ask for proof of a marriage contract anymore. 

This comes as Moroccan Minister of Justice Abdellatif Ouahbi had previously stated in a May parliamentary session: “Asking people for a marriage certificate is against the law. Those who ask for this document at the hotel are breaking the law and can face legal action.”

However, this change has sparked some controversy, as some view the disruption of this practice as an invitation to foster an environment of corruption and vice. 

Abu Zaid Al-Muqri Al-Idrissi, leader of the Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD), warned of “the consequences of cancelling the marriage contract, particularly for the spread of diseases like AIDS, marital infidelity and living off honour.”

The politician added this measure would likely lead to “family disintegration, the proliferation of illegitimate children and dangers to society and families”, as well as “a disintegrated and frayed social fabric”, according to the New Arab.

He added: “It is a sad day personally and proof that the discussion about the family code and adopted measures are two sides of the same coin: submitting to global dictates and radical, cruel and stormy Westernising measures imposed on us by the United Nations.”

The PJD leader also argued the ban was in place to prevent crimes such as “adultery, homosexuality, and abortion.”

Justice Minister Ouahbi, head of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) has been pushing for more progressive laws since his appointment in 2021.

One of his focuses has been decriminalising consensual relationships out of wedlock, with the hotel rule marking a great success for his mission. 

Ouahbi has also played a key role in reforming Morocco’s family code, which has yet torecive the King’s approval.