Labour pledges to introduce humanist weddings

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Labour party has pledged to introduce humanist weddings in England and Wales.

This week, a review into the issue which promised as part of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was finally published.

The report found that a majority of people are in favour of allowing the marriages – which are already legal in Scotland – but the Government is not moving ahead with the plans.

Baroness Thornton, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, said her party would commit to introducing humanist weddings.

She said: “There was widespread support for humanist marriage across Parliament during the passage of Equal Marriage and across the country.

“Humanist marriages have been legally recognised in Scotland for ten years now and the sky hasn’t fallen in, in fact more people are getting married.

“This is yet another example of the Lib Dems saying they support something and then doing the opposite – despite having the Minister responsible in Government.

“The Labour Party supports the legal recognition of humanist marriages and a Labour Government will act to support the thousands of couples who wish to marry with a humanist celebration.”

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett added: “Clearly the law should allow those who wish to have a humanist marriage ceremony the same rights as couples who want a religious ceremony with a celebrant of their choice.

“The Green Party is committed to ending the current discrimination through legislation as soon as possible.”

Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association said: “It’s remarkable that the Government would go to such extraordinary lengths to stop two people expressing their love and contracting their marriage in the way they choose.

“Couples of every religion from Sikhs to scientologists, from Anglicans to Jews, from Quakers to Mormons, have the right to have a legal marriage according to their deepest beliefs.

“Even the Aetherius Society, which believes that there are aliens on the moon, is able to conduct legal marriages. What priests and politicians have against humanists enjoying the same right is baffling.

“Every single objection – the few that there were – was answered in both Parliament and in the public consultation on this issue – the same objections which are cited in the report published today.

“Today is a very sad day for fairness, freedom of belief, and freedom of choice.

“However we are delighted that the Labour party and others have made such a strong commitment to legalise humanist marriage next year if in power and the thousands of couples who responded to the consultation and wrote to their own MPs will also be heartened by this news.”