Humanist Marriage Ceremonies – Commons Library Standard Note
Published 07 January 2015
The Marriage Act 1949 (as amended) provides for civil marriage; marriage according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England and the Church in Wales; Jewish and Quaker marriage; and marriage according to the rites of a recognised religion in a building that has been registered for the purpose. There are restrictions on where a marriage can be celebrated.
At present, humanist marriage ceremonies do not have legal force and the parties must have an additional ceremony (for example, at a register office) for the marriage to be legally valid. The British Humanist Association has campaigned for the law to be changed to allow humanist celebrants to conduct legal marriages.
Proposals by the previous Government to give couples a greater choice of where to marry, as part of a more general reform of civil registration, did not proceed.
Section 14 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 required the Government to conduct a review, including a full public consultation, of whether the law should be changed to permit non-religious belief marriage ceremonies. The consultation ran from 26 June 2014 to 18 September 2014. The Government’s response to the consultation was published on 18 December 2014. Continue reading
Via Marriage Act of 1961 under Commonwealth Law.
Zam Zam in Northampton.
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