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Humanist weddings amendment withdrawn from equal marriage bill

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  1. Neon Genesis 19 Jun 2013, 8:20pm

    So only Christians are allowed to perform weddings in the UK? What happened to all their concerns about “freedom of religion?” Why shouldn’t any religious group be allowed to perform marriages if they want to anyway?

  2. As a bisexual atheist, if I ever get married, I want everything about the ceremony to be 100 percent religion free. The idea of a humanity wedding, being that I am a secular humanist, is an appealing idea. The church (nor religion generally) created the concept of marriage, nor should it hold the monopoly over it. In fact the early church turned its nose up at the idea of marriage.

    1. * correction – The idea of a ‘humanist’ wedding….’

      1. Drats, another error…’ the church did *not* create the concept of marriage’

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Jun 2013, 10:45pm

        A civil marriage has no religious element and is in fact banned from such ceremonies by law, but I strongly support Humanist weddings. It will come because even with or without Scottish independence, the anomaly south of the border will have to be addressed, eventually, not in this Bill of course, but it will come I think.

  3. I listned to the debate today and there was only one objection and that was a waffling one from the bishops bench basically in favor in principle but voicing undefined objections (what he didn’t voice was I suspect is the real objection from the Cof E which is the threat of Humanist marriages to their revenue stream).
    The government really need to take the matter of marriages for humanists far more seriously before they open up a case at the EHRC which could unleash questioning of privilage granted to the C of E and the discrepancies in English law which disadvantage other religions and belief systems.
    Many human rights lawyers at the highest level are also humanists who are very able to advance this if they are driven to it.
    What happened today was an example of bad faith (pun intended) from the government bench which resulted in the proposer withdrawing the amendment, but with a threat to bring it back at report.

    1. Dedicated Humanist 20 Jun 2013, 6:34am

      “..a waffling one from the bishops bench..”

      Wow, that’s a surprise! :-)

  4. I am a paid up humanist, but this amendment puzzles me.

    The whole idea of humanism is about living in a secular world. Civil marriage IS PRECISELY the ceremony required for a humanist wedding.

    I can well understand the need for humanist funerals, because civil funerals do not exist, and an alternative to religious funerals is needed, but civil weddings with an appointed registrar do exist and I see no need to replicate that.

    1. Exactly, Wingby! A civil marriage can be tailored with songs and poems and readings to be as humanist as any pair of humanist heterosexuals or humanist homosexuals wish. There’s no need for enabling “Humanist Celebrants” to perform civil same-sex marriage. All it will really do is enable “Humanist Celebrants” to make money out of gay people’s weddings!

      I am a humanist and I have experience of “Humanist Celebrants” in the context of funerals. I have not been impressed. It does not require much “official humanist training” to learn how to omit religious nonsense from a ceremony and to insert other (non-religious) inspiring material. As things stand earning money by “training” as a Humanist Celebrant and making oneself available for hire is simply money for old rope.

      Don’t be conned people, if at the end of the day we are permitted to engage Humanist Celebrants. Take responsibility for your civil marriage and work out an order of service that suits you with the Registrar.

    2. Humanist weddings are totally different from’ civil weddings with an appointed registrar ‘. Humanist weddings are peronal to the needs and values of the particular . Warm, personal and reflective of their values, unlike cold, impersonakl and porrly performed state weddings.

      There is NO replication !

  5. PeterinSydney 19 Jun 2013, 9:31pm

    Religion has become the implacable enemy of equality. You would think it was Iran of Uganda.

  6. Paula Thomas 19 Jun 2013, 9:36pm

    Don’t worry it’ll be back at report and I suspect the Government will either compromise or loose.

  7. It’s a shame that the amendment had to be withdrawn, but if it would have put the SSM bill at risk then sadly it’s something that will have to wait a bit.

    Once SSM has become law, all the fuss will die down very rapidly.

    There will then be plenty of time to tidy up other important points such as equal pensions, humanist weddings, whether to allow opposite sex CPs or to abolish them, etc.

  8. David Boothroyd 19 Jun 2013, 10:36pm

    On a minor point of procedure, it’s routine in the House of Lords for amendments to be moved, debated and withdrawn at Committee stage, and then retabled at Report stage when a vote is taken. There can also be amendments moved at Third Reading although they are not supposed to be major issues.

    1. What a way to run a circus.

    2. Unless they are government amendments! !!!
      where a different proceedure would seem to be in effect. !

  9. GulliverUK 20 Jun 2013, 8:23am

    If it’s not to do with same-sex marriages then it’ll have to be done another time – marriage for same-sex couples is the only one single thing which matters, and, ofcourse, corrections to ensure that transgender couples don’t need to divorce and re-marry. Humanists can still marry (unless they’re same-sex !) but same-sex couples can’t.

    There must be no distractions – there is still a lot to do. I have not heard any mention of equal pension rights, and that is absolutely critical to even calling this ‘equal marriage’

  10. Exactly right, Church of England are a business who are selling a failing brand that has disappointed in all business expectations in this quarter, this half and also this year. Namely to gain new subscribers. Lets just say that if the anti-competition squad were to really analyse the business of religion they would fine this organisation many times over for bullying the competition and treating its customers like garbage as well as abusing its employees, namely women and gay people. Its disgusting that such an organisation can be allowed to get away with so many vile practices based on historic right. Sad and pathetic on their part. Nobody is buying this sham any more. People will be allowed to choose the religion that best represents their beliefs, especially in that long-term investment we call marriage. How dare anybody say otherwise.

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