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Uzbek couples that want to get married are now required to provide a clean bill of health to their local registry offices showing they are not suffering from any potentially serious illnesses.

That's according to new amendments to Uzbekistan's family law that were approved by the parliament on March 11.

The list of health problems that would disqualify you from getting married includes mental illnesses, HIV/AIDS, and impotence, as well as drug addiction.

To prove they are not suffering from poor health, potential brides and grooms have to obtain a letter from their local doctors confirming they have passed a check-up.

If you have a medical condition that would disqualify you from getting married in Uzbekistan, don't count on finding a corrupt doctor -- which shouldn't be difficult given the rampant bribery there -- to get a fake letter.

Cheating doesn't work in this case. Because if one of the spouses becomes ill shortly after their wedding, their marriage would be automatically annulled.

The Uzbek authorities say they want to protect their people's well-being and good health.

As for the sick, there are plenty of other options, such as avoiding official registration and going to a local mullah instead to conduct a religious ceremony, or simply seeking medical treatment to become "marriageable."

Alternatively, they can wait until they're 50, because potential brides and grooms who are over 49 are not required to prove they're in good health.

-- Farangis Najibullah

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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