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Bill giving humanist marriage ceremonies legal status in England and Wales is introduced into Parliament

A Private Members Bill with the intention of giving humanist marriage ceremonies legal status will have its First Reading in the House of Lords today (16 May 2012), marking the first stage in the legislative process.

The Bill is sponsored by Lord Harrison, member of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group and British Humanist Association (BHA) Distinguished supporter. The first substantive discussion of the aims and contents of the Bill will take place at its Second Reading, the date of which will be announced after the First Reading.

This latest effort to give humanist marriage ceremonies legal validity in England and Wales comes after the introduction of a Bill in the Irish Parliament last month with the same purpose, and the Humanist Society of Scotland reporting record numbers of couples opting for humanist ceremonies following a change in the law in 2005 that permitted the registration of celebrants to conduct legally recognised humanist marriage ceremonies.


Read more about the BHA’s campaign for reform of the marriage laws.

Read about how a bill becomes law on Parliament’s website.

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

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