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Conference to vote on Humanist Marriage on Saturday 14th September

September 9, 2019 3:01 PM

This conference, we submitted two amendments to policy motions - and they've both been selected.


On Saturday, 14th September, Conference will debate and vote on our amendment to the Equal Marriage policy motion.

This is unfinished business from the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, like the rest of the Equal Marriage motion.

It's now six years since the Act was passed, with enabling sections to allow humanist marriages to be legally recognized, like religious marriages - but the government continues to find excuses to delay recognition.

We've waited long enough!

Our amendment

  • notes that "humanist marriages are not legally recognised in England and Wales, but have been recognised in Scotland since 2005, and have already become the second most popular type of marriage there, and recognised in Northern Ireland since 2018;"

  • reaffirms the Liberal Democrat commitment to "extend legal recognition of humanist marriages across the UK;"

  • calls for "the UK Government to make an order under section 14(4) of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 at the earliest opportunity, to allow humanists to conduct legally recognised marriages in England and Wales."

The amendment was drafted by HSLD Co-President Dr Julian Huppert, and was submitted by HSLD and South Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats.

Our thanks to the 60 HSLD members and supporters who put their names to this amendment.


On Monday 16th September, Conference will debate and vote on the United on Crime policy motion.

Our amendment has been drafted in, so it is now part of the Crime policy motion.

The United Against Crime policy paper proposes that the party should support "community groups composed of representatives of local charities, faith groups, public sector organisations and businesses…" (page 41, para. 5.4.7).

The paper's wording gives faith groups a guaranteed position in the proposed bodies, but excludes any non-religious voluntary or community organisations or belief groups.

Our amendment gives flexibility so that the proposed bodies can be inclusive and can more broadly reflect the local communities (including, for example, LGBT+ groups), and their needs.

It calls for the introduction of effective measures to cut crime and ensure people feel safe by extending Community Safety Funds to invest in communities and "'supporting the establishment of community groups to bring together representatives of local charities, faith and belief groups, voluntary and community organisations, public sector organisations and businesses that would work with police and local authorities, to" ensure that people can lead their own lives free from fear.

Our thanks to the 55 HSLD members and supporters who put their names to this amendment.