A Humanist Wedding – The fight to be recognised by the law

In light of a recent challenge against the law, Humanist marriages have once again gained the spotlight for a fight for equality.

Model Laura Lacole is engaged to footballer Eunan O’Kane and they wish to have a humanist wedding.

The issued the are facing is that Humanist weddings are not recognised in Northern Ireland or England and so couple then have to have a civil ceremony.

The couple believes that they are being discriminated against. Whereas other couples of religion can have their wedding officiated in a civil ceremony or by a religious representative of their choice, humanists don’t have a choice but to have a civil in order for their marriage to be accepted in the eyes of the law.

Ms Lacole made her points about why she was taking on the case “We can’t see how you can differentiate between any types of beliefs,” she said.

“We think it should be recognised in Northern Ireland because there is a need for it.”

“Whether we are a minority or a majority we should still be given equal rights.”

Currently, Humanist weddings are legally recognised in the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and some US states.

Humanist weddings can take place anywhere. Indoors or out. There are no set scripts and each wedding is tailored to the couple’s individual needs, values and beliefs.

The case is backed by Humanists UK, whose chief executive, Andrew Copson, said: “Religious people currently have the legal right to marry in a ceremony that reflects their most fundamental views of the world, but humanists cannot do likewise.”

Current laws for religious ceremonies

A religious wedding can take place at a chapel, churro or any other registered religious building.

For non-Anglican Christina marriages and all other religious, the register office needs to be given 28 days’ notice before the wedding. Registered minister, priests and religious leaders can register marriages.

Jewish and Quaker marries must also register 28 days before.

Current rules for civil partnerships:

There has to be some formal wording exchanged, but it can be added to if you wish.

There are can songs, dancing and music – however, it cannot contain anything religious. Such as hymns, readings or bibles.

There have to be 2 witnesses, and they have to sign the register along with you and your partner.

If you feel that you’re experiencing discrimination in any way speak to one our team today on