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Couples battling to marry the way they wish to

PUBLISHED: 08:30 01 August 2020

Paul Kaufman is waiting on the High Court judgemnt to give legal recognition to Humanist weddings.

Paul Kaufman is waiting on the High Court judgemnt to give legal recognition to Humanist weddings.

Archant

As Covid restrictions ease many engaged couples will be looking forward to marrying surrounded by friends and family.

And six Humanist couples are waiting to find out from the High Court in London if they will be able seal their vows according to their own beliefs and values.

They are merely seeking the rights afforded to religious couples since time immemorial.

Scotland has recognised Humanist weddings since 2005.

They have proved immensely popular and now outstrip the ceremonies of all Christian denominations combined.

In 2013 Parliament gave our government the power to give legal recognition to Humanist marriages in England and Wales. But the government has failed to act.

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This is despite the proposal enjoying cross-party, and overwhelming public support.

An offer on behalf of the couples to negotiate a settlement was refused.

This is in itself extraordinary given the cost of contesting the case to tax payers, not to mention the backlog in civil ceremonies which the reform will address.

Legal action was therefore the last resort. The court heard the arguments in early July. Judgement is now awaited.

A Humanist wedding is very special.

Couples without religious belief are able to decide on the meanings, beliefs and values important to them. They are not shoe-horned into someone else’s template.

The government has demonstrated double standards by denying this powerful expression of personal belief.

Humanists UK hope this landmark case, which they have championed, will at last afford non-religious couples this fundamental human right.


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