East London Humanist Chair Paul Kaufman wants Humanist marriages
- Credit: Archant
In a disappointing intervention just before Christmas, Downing Street has blocked the introduction of Humanist marriages in England and Wales.
Reports suggest this is because David Cameron’s election Guru, Lynton Crosbie, thinks it would be a diversion in this election year.
The decision, by a government which supposedly champions ‘choice’ and denies the right of thousands of non-religious couples to start their married life with a ceremony and vows which are personal and meaningful to them.
Humanist weddings are now legal in progressive countries around the world such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and in certain American states. They have proved immensely popular. In Scotland, where they became legal in 2005, Humanist marriage ceremonies already outnumber Catholic marriages and, if trends continue, they will soon overtake those conducted by Church of Scotland Ministers.
This decision flies in the face of the results of their public consultation, published on December 18, 2014. The overwhelming majority of respondents (95.4 per cent) favour a change in the law to establish non-religious belief ceremonies as a third type of legal ceremony, alongside religious and civil ceremonies, for getting married in England and Wales. A motion tabled in the Commons calling for a change in the law in this parliament has been signed by MPs from all parties, and legalisation of Humanist marriages is now the official policy of both Labour and the Lib Dems.
The stand is particularly bizarre when dozens of religions are now officially allowed to conduct marriage ceremonies. These include Scientologists and the Aetherius Society (aetherius.org), was founded in the 1950s by an Englishman, George King, after he was contacted in London by an extra-terrestrial called ‘Aetherius.’ All we ask is that people who hold non-religious beliefs have the same rights as those who are religious. More from Paul