This just in: the government has opened a consultation seeking views on the concept of allowing non-religious belief organisations to carry out weddings. Confused? We don’t blame you. With marriages and civil unions and places same-sex couples can and can’t marry, the wedding process has become a rather fussy affair.

Quite what a non-religious belief organisation (NRBO) is, is a matter for consultation in itself, and this Consultation asks just that. It is likely that movements such as Humanism will be included in the definition by those getting involved. Humanists determine their own standards of right and wrong based not upon religious tradition or beliefs, but upon ‘reason and respect for others’.

The Consultation comes off the back of Section 14 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which requires that such a review takes place, and seeks to determine whether there is a need for a third type of legal ceremony (we currently have religious and civil ceremonies).  S.14 itself defines an NRBO as:

“An organisation whose principal or sole purpose is the advancement of a system of non-religious beliefs which relate to morality or ethics.”

The Consultation seeks views on these specific elements:

  • which non-religious belief organisations are capable of meeting the definition
  • where, if allowed, such marriages would take place
  • the provision of safeguards to deal with any resulting risks
  • the equality impacts.

We say to hell with it and the overt class system which seems to be developing when it comes to marriage, and simply have one law for all. It ain’t that hard.