Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender humanists are calling on British Members of Parliament to support an amendment to the Marriage Bill currently being discussed in the British House of Commons, that would give legal recognition to humanist marriages in England and Wales.
Straight humanist marriages are already legal in Scotland and when equal marriage is introduced in Scotland, humanist marriages will also be made legal for same-sex couples.
Adam Knowles, Chair of Galha LGBT Humanists, said, ‘Humanists have always been in the vanguard of LGBT rights and humanist celebrants in England and Wales have been conducting same sex weddings for many years. We’re really pleased that LGB religious people will soon have the choice of a legal marriage reflecting their deepest beliefs and we think that we should have the same choice and the same right. LGB non-religious people in Scotland are to be given that right by their Parliament; we are looking forward to our Parliament doing the same for us in England and Wales.’
The amendment has been tabled by the Labour MPs Kate Green, Chris Bryant, and Kelvin Hopkins, the Liberal Democrat MPs Stephen Gilbert, Dr Julian Huppert, and Stephen Williams, and the Conservative Mike Weatherley MP. In the most recent national census, over 68 % of the British population state they have ‘no religion’ which adds more credibility indicating the need for humanists weddings to be made legal.
For over 30 years Galha LGBT Humanists has promoted humanism as a rational, naturalistic worldview that trusts the scientific method as the most reliable route to truth and encourages a moral and ethical life based on logic, reason and compassion. It campaigns for equality and diversity, particularly relating to sexual orientation and identity – both in the UK and internationally. Since 2012 it is proud to be the LGBT section of the British Humanist Association. It is volunteer-led and funded by supporter donations.
Just after writing, the amendment was withdrawn whilst being debated in parliament on human rights grounds, however the issue of humanists weddings and rights has not gone unnoticed and there are moves within all three parties to raise the subject at another time during the parliamentary year.