Legal Humanist Marriages at Last

June 29th, 2013: The HAI is delighted to announce that, following years of campaigning, it has finally achieved legal status for Humanist marriage ceremonies.  Following the passing of the Civil Registration Amendment Act last December by the Dáil and Seanad, the General Register Office added all current HAI-accredited celebrants to the list of solemnisers earlier this week.  (One celebrant, Brian Whiteside, had been added in April.)

The HAI applied on behalf of its celebrants to the General Register Office under the heading of a ‘secular body’. The Amendment Act added ‘secular body’  –  representatives of religions and HSE registrars could already solemnise marriages.

HAI celebrants have been providing non-legal Humanist marriage ceremonies for 20 years now and their appointment as solemnisers clears the way for couples who want legal Humanist ceremonies to have this choice for the first time in Ireland. This is a major and significant victory for the Humanist Association which has been campaigning for equality for the non-religious for many years.

While the General Register Office was processing HAI celebrants’ applications some members of the Association requested an Extraordinary General Meeting due to concerns about conditions to be met which were more onerous than on religions. They felt the Association should withdraw its applications. The EGM was held on Wednesday 26th June. The majority view was that inclusion on the list of solemnisers reflected such a mature and positive attitude to the non-religious that the HAI should take this wonderful opportunity.