BHA welcomes Royal Assent of the Same Sex Marriage Act

17 July, 2013

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today welcomed the Same Sex Marriage Act. The Act’s primary aim makes provision for the marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales, but now also seeks to legalise humanist marriage. The BHA have been conducting same sex humanist weddings for decades and were also key supporters of the Equal Love Campaign and the Coalition 4 Equal Marriage (C4EM).

Dozens of supporters of the Bill and the humanist marriage provisions spoke in both the Lords and the Commons this week welcoming the completion of the Bill and the government’s amendment in which ministers will be given the power to make regulations giving legal recognition to humanist marriages following a review of the current situation, which the law mandates must be conducted and report before the end of 2014. The legalisation of humanist marriages has had overwhelming cross-party support.

Speaking in the Lords on Monday Baroness Thornton welcoming the completion of the Bill’s passage in the Lords and the humanist marriage amendment commented ‘The noble Lord, Lord Harrison, and the noble Baroness, Lady Massey, fought the corner for humanist weddings. The noble Lady, Baroness Meacher, and the noble Lord, Lord Lester, helped to find a way through on humanist weddings.’ In the Commons yesterday the government amendment was welcomed by MPs including Yvette Cooper, Crispin Blunt, Julian Huppert and many others.

BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal commented, ‘We are extremely proud to have played our part in what is a historic step for gay couples and for society as a whole. Furthermore we are delighted that another inequality through the same vehicle will soon also be addressed as we will work towards legal recognition of humanist marriages.  We congratulate the government and all who those worked towards achieving this on what is a momentous day for equality’.


For further comment or information contact Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs, at or on 0773 843 5059.

As well as hundreds of marriages, the BHA conducts many thousands of funerals every year.  All the ceremonies are conducted by trained and accredited celebrants subject to strict quality assurance processes and 97% of clients give these ceremonies feedback of 5/5.

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.