Our environment

THE ENVIRONMENT AND ME…

As a humanist I believe that now more than ever before it is our duty as both individuals and collectively to be the grown ups in the environmental room and care for this planet all the time that we are living on it. 

Now don’t think for one moment that I’m a party pooper, because I’m very much a “live for today” kinda gal BUT let’s hedge our bets a little and also plan and live responsibly so that we have the opportunity to live for tomorrow as well. With a little planning in our lives it really is possible to act in ways which reduce pollution and emissions and preserve natural resources and prevent waste. 

Weddings are glorious, colourful, spectacular and rightly so. We spend huge amounts of time creating beautiful tableaux to showcase our celebration of love BUT often unwittingly don’t think about the impact of some of our wedding choices. Why invest in single use plastic decorations or favours for your guests when you could have some of the many environmentally friendly wedding goods that are now available. Better still, why not consider hiring rather than buying wedding decorations and the single use issue is no longer an issue. I try to be one of these grown ups in both my home and business life – I’m not perfect, but I do try and I encourage others to do the same…

There are many sources of advice for how to be sustainable – talk to me or look at sites such as here.

Humanist Weddings

Legalisation of Humanist Weddings

In England and Wales, couples wanting a Humanist wedding currently have to arrange a separate wedding in a Register Office for their marriage to be legalised.  For decades Humanists UK has campaigned for the law to be updated to reflect the ever growing demand for Humanist weddings to be legalised, as is the case in Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland and Jersey.

Recently, six couples, fully supported by Humanists UK, brought a case to the High Court to launch a landmark legal challenge of the current marriage laws in England and Wales. Their case called for legal recognition of Humanist weddings. Their lawyers argued that the current laws requiring the additional bureaucratic step of having a separate ceremony to legalise a marriage are discriminatory and therefore incompatible with human rights legislation.

Judgement was given on 31 July 2020, and found that the current marriage laws in England and Wales do indeed give rise to discrimination by failing to give legal recognition to Humanist weddings. The judge accepted that a couple’s choice to have a Humanist celebrant is based on their beliefs, noting: “in particular in the way in which couples prepare for their wedding with their celebrant, in the statements made during the ceremony and in the emphasis on individual freedom of choice”.

While it is extremely positive that the High Court has ruled in the couples’ favour, the judge has agreed that the Government can await the outcome of an ongoing two year review of the marriage laws by the Law Commission, which began in the autumn of 2019, before having to update the marriage laws to deal with this discrimination.

For now, therefore, we need to wait for the conclusion of the review, but it WILL have to take into account this very recent High Court judgement and it’s findings deal with the current discriminatory marriage laws in England and Wales …