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Marriage: Humanism

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 25895, tabled on 1 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 30 June 2021 to Question 20609, on Marriage: Humanism, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of granting legal recognition to humanist marriages on the same time-limited basis as outdoor civil marriages.

Answered on

9 July 2021

As the Government has made clear, a Law Commission project on marriage and civil partnership is due to report later this year and is expected to present recommendations for wholesale reform to the law governing marriage ceremonies, which the Government will consider carefully.

Options being explored by the Law Commission as part of their review include offering couples greater flexibility over the form of their ceremony, allowing the ceremony to take place in a much broader range of locations and to provide a framework that could allow non-religious belief organisations, such as Humanists and independent celebrants, to conduct legally binding weddings.

The Government will decide on provision for non-religious belief marriage in light of the Law Commission's recommendations.