In the UK, six couples are taking a landmark challenge to the High Court next week in a bid to get legal recognition for humanist weddings in England and Wales. This would bring England and Wales in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The government was authorised by parliament to legally recognise humanist weddings in 2013, but it has not yet done so. More than 6,000 couples who have gone through humanist ceremonies since then have faced a choice between having a second civil ceremony at a registry office or having no legal recognition of their marriage.
The legal challenge to ask the UK government to change the law was lodged at the High Court last November, and will be heard on 7 and 8 July.
It is being supported by the Humanists UK, which has campaigned on the issue for decades.
The organisation says a change in law could help deal with “the huge backlog” of demand for marriage services due to the pandemic.
“Couples who have humanist weddings see that day as the epitome of their love and commitment to each other, and all they want is the same legal recognition for that as is given to every religious person in our country,” said the head of Humanists UK, Andrew Copson.
[Sources: The Guardian, BBC News, Humanists UK]