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Marriage: Humanism

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 38359, tabled on 22 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps his Department has taken towards granting legal recognition to humanist marriages; and whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of enabling Senedd Cymru to legalise humanist marriages in Wales.

Answered on

6 September 2021

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for marriage law in England and Wales.

The Government has received a number of representations about making separate provision for humanist marriage in England and Wales. As we have made clear, a Law Commission report due later this year is expected to present options for wholesale reform to the law governing marriage ceremonies, which the Government will consider carefully. Options being explored by the Law Commission include offering couples greater flexibility to form their own ceremonies, 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/or independent celebrants to conduct legally binding weddings.

The Government will decide on provision for non-religious belief marriage on the basis of the Law Commission's recommendations. The Government, therefore, has not made an assessment of the merits of enabling Senedd Cymru to legalise humanist marriages.

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