Marriage: Humanism

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of recognising Humanist Marriages in law following the 2014 Ministry of Justice review into marriages by non-religious belief organisations and the 2020 High Court ruling that a failure to recognise humanist marriages is discriminatory.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the proposals from the Law Commission on Humanist Marriages, what steps he will take to recognise humanist marriages while a comprehensive reform of marriage law is undertaken.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent. The Government will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission's recommendations.

The Law Commission published a consultation paper on 3 September 2020 as part of its review and will welcome responses from all.

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