Pagan Weddings could be legalised: Daily Mail could be upset

This marriage would be illegal or at least frowned upon in the Star Wars universe, but could soon be legalised in the UK if the Daily Mail's worst fears are realised.

This marriage would be illegal or at least frowned upon in the Star Wars universe, but could soon be legalised in the UK if the Daily Mail’s worst fears are realised.

In the most blatant piece of yellow journalism I have witnessed since… well… the last time I read the same newspaper, the Daily Mail has announced that due to what it perceives as a flaw in the new Equal Marriages bill, Pagan Weddings could be legalised in England and Wales. NB: in the mentality of the Daily Mail, this is supposedly a Bad Thing.

At the moment, if you want to have a Pagan wedding in England or Wales, you are obliged to come to an arrangement which is common on the continent of Europe, i.e. have two wedding ceremonies – the first being the kind that you would ideally want as a ceremony, but with a second which consists of a quick ten-minute jobbie down the Registrar’s office on Monday morning to actually make it legal. Now it so happens that Christian churches almost always have their own registrar to attend  their marriages which is why a Christian couple only needs the one ceremony. Thus: if a Pagan religion were allowed to have the same arrangement, this would spare Pagan couples the extra expense and bureaucracy as well.

Needless to say, however, the true situation is far more complicated.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that the amendment to the Equal Marriages bill which is the source of the controversy applies only to Humanists – not to other named groups. The Daily Mail therefore has conveniently pulled some “anonymous government sources” out of its arse to supposedly say that “ridiculous” (sic) sects like pagans and even Jedis could mount a legal challenge to the Act on the basis of some sort of human rights discrimination type bullshit and force the recognition of their own ceremonies as well.

“But what,” I hallucinate that I hear my many millions of pagan (and even Jedi) readers say, “would be wrong with that?”

As far as the Daily Mail is concerned, everything. As far as people whose opinions count, however, there is a more subtle objection. In an ideal world, members of any religion ought not to have to resort to litigation – which may prove costly, time-consuming and stressful – to vindicate their basic rights. Therefore the best solution is not to have to resort to a dodgy legal challenge, but to actually have the right to marriage written in the black and white of the statute.

So come on, Members of Parliament! And Peers as well! The bill is currently before Parliament and you have the power to propose a suitably worded amendment which would allow such groups to conduct proper ceremonies. Search your feelings – you know it to be true.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Pagan Weddings could be legalised: Daily Mail could be upset

  1. Bob Hayes

    The Daily Mail is always upset about something – but then seeing as I’m a member of a Satanic Sex Cult I’d be bound to say that wouldn’t I?

  2. Ha ha, gotta love the Daily Mail (in a sarcastic kinda way!). I think it’s ridiculous that there is even a debate and opposition to gay marriage, never mind those of other sub-cultures. I didn’t get married in a church, but I found a compromise since my husband isn’t a ‘practising’ pagan but he doesn’t necessarily believe in the Church.

    • As long as the government doesn’t try to interfere with what churches get up to, everything should be alright. “Freedom of religion” is supposed to mean “freedom from state interference in your religion,” or at least it did when I was younger.

  3. Interesting to call Paganism a ‘ridiculous’ sect. That was the religion of this country before Christianity barged its way in. Oh Daily Mail. I wonder what they’d have to write about if media scaremongering was ever banned.

    • That’s a bit of an oversimplification. The paganism of today bears little resemblance to that practised in Albion two thousand years ago, and in any case “paganism” is not a religion per se but a blanket term for a large number of dissimilar religious practices. The real question should be: does the government ever have the right to decide what is and what is not a religion, no matter how it is derived or how many adherents it has got?

      • angelinetrevena

        Do many religions closely resemble what they were two thousand years ago? And you can say the same of Christianity; ‘a blanket term for a large number of dissimilar religious practices.’ A religion, not a religion. Interesting the power that labels have; defining whether or not a group is protected, and so the marginalised become more marginalised.

        The government (made up of mostly middle/upper class white men) legislate on so many aspects of our private lives. Too much power given to too few, who are not representative of the masses in terms of gender, race, socio-economic background etc etc etc. Yet the masses of this country resign themselves to it term after term.

  4. With your obvious feelings for the Daily Mail, which I share entirely, I thought this excellent article might amuse you.(if you haven’t already read it, that is) http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BritishNewspapers

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