Scotland

More Scots wedding couples turn to humanist marriages

Karen Watts and Martin Reijns who wed in Edinburgh in 2005 - the UK's first legal humanist marriage
Image caption Karen Watts and Martin Reijns who wed in Edinburgh in 2005 in the UK's first legal humanist marriage

There were more humanist weddings than Roman Catholic weddings in Scotland last year, according to new figures.

The Registrar General for Scotland's provisional data on marriages by denomination showed humanist weddings were the third most popular ceremony.

There were 1,706 humanist weddings, between January and September 2010, an increase of 35% on 2009, while Catholic weddings remained static at 1,506.

There were 11,430 civil marriages and 5,013 Church of Scotland weddings.

Humanist weddings were granted legal status in 2005.

The Humanist Society of Scotland (HSS) said it expected to see the number of humanist weddings "overtake those of the Church of Scotland in 2015".

HSS convener Juliet Wilson said: "We believe that more and more people are choosing to marry in a humanist ceremony because they identify with the humanist values of equality, reason, compassion and tolerance, and these are the values that bind society together."

Although classified by the Registrar General for Scotland as a form of religious marriage, humanism is not a religion, but a secular philosophy or belief system.

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