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Law Reform - Not all Celebrants are Humanists!

My response to the latest push from Humanism UK


Have you seen the recent headlines featuring Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig calling for legal recognition of humanist marriages? Here’s the link https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/apr/18/stephen-fry-sandi-toksvig-lead-call-for-recognition-of-humanist-marriages


You may have seen or heard me talk about the ongoing talks to reform our marriage laws, so of course this is a great article and I agree with the need for change.


But, what you might not know is there is a difference between Humanist Celebrants and other Celebrants. You will find Celebrants from all sorts of faith groups, belief groups or, like myself, completely independent. Humanism is a belief group – being that they believe we live one short life, which should be lived to the full. They do not believe there are any Gods, nor any afterlife. After death, life will cease.


And they are right, it is time that the law recognises the needs of their followers. But the law needs to change to make it equal for ALL – regardless of belief, faith or who they fall in love with.


So, it is very important that Parliament look at ALL the details of the recommendations put forward by the Law Commission. Taken in full the recommended solution would be to license the officiant (the person leading the ceremony) rather than the building.


This will mean that marriage ceremonies of ALL faiths will become legally binding.


This will mean that marriage ceremonies of ALL belief systems will become legally binding.


This will mean that marriage ceremonies of those without religion nor belonging to any faith system will become legally binding.


And, with the inclusion of Independent Celebrants (and Independent Celebrants only) – this will mean that marriage ceremonies of those that wish to marry under a different religion or belief to each other, will also become legally binding. An Independent Celebrant will work with each couple as individuals and will tailor a ceremony to suit the needs of both parties within that couple.


Yes, and Independent Celebrant can include religion ... we can blend two religions ... we can include spiritual elements ... or of course we can exclude any religious or spiritual content. And yes, we will work with couples from any and all of our community of LGBTQ+ friends. This is the fundamental reason of being an Independent Celebrant; to put the needs and wants of the couple first and foremost.




If you would like to ensure that the Law Commissions proposals are put through in their entirety, in order to make the best change in marriage law and bring it right up into the 21st Century, I urge you to please take action.


You need to write to your MP to ensure they know there is a difference between Humanist and Independent Celebrants, and that without agreeing to the full proposals the law will still remain discriminatory to many couples. Click here for a guide to writing to your MP: https://independentcelebrants.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Supporting-wedding-law-reform_MP-guidance.pdf


To read more about the proposals read this article from the Association of Independent Celebrants: https://independentcelebrants.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/AOIC-Policy-Paper-Wedding-Law-Reform.pdf


Kelly Hawes

Modern Celebrant - proudly independent

07827 927947

info@kellyhcelebrant.co.uk




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