20 December 2012: The Bill to give legal status to Humanist weddings passed all stages in the Dáil on Thursday, December 20th 2012. Having already passed all stages in the Seanad, it is now set to be signed into law by the President.
This is a major victory for the Humanist Association of Ireland which has been campaigning for this change for the past decade. Humanist wedding ceremonies have grown in popularity in recent years but, in order to have a legally binding marriage, couples have had to have a civil ceremony in addition to their Humanist ceremony. This change in legislation will give legal status to Humanist ceremonies and so provide real choice for couples getting married.
In early January the HAI will apply to the Registrar for registration under this new legislation and the HAI-accredited celebrants will have their names added to the General Register Office list of solemnisers. In addition to wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, Humanist celebrants conduct naming ceremonies to celebrate the arrival of a child into a family. They also conduct funerals that aim to balance the sense of loss with a celebration of a life ended.
The HAI campaigns for equality for the non-religious in all areas of life in Ireland and holds regular meetings for members and non-members where topics of common interest are discussed.
For more information and media interview please contact the HAI Director of Ceremonies, Brian Whiteside on 086-384 89 40 or email@example.com