RSVP Magazine

Republic of Ireland player and model in high court battle for humanist wedding

An Irish footballer and his partner are seeking a judicial review of the failure of the Northern Irish authorities to extend legal recognition to humanist marriages.

As it stands, a couple that want a humanist ceremony must also have a separate civil registration for their marriage to be legally recognised, reports The Journal

The British Humanist Association says this means that the ceremony that actually matters to the couple has no status in law.

Model Laura Lacole and Eunan O’Kane, who plays football for Leeds United and the Republic of Ireland national team are hoping to change this.

Humanist marriages are currently legally recognised in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

Lacole’s lawyers claim that she is being discriminated against under European laws.

Lacole said: “Marriage, for all couples, is a celebration of who that couple are, reflecting their deepest held beliefs and values.

“My wishes for my marriage are for it to reflect my deepest humanist values, much as a Christian might see their marriage as of special significance for them.”

She added: “People of all religions can be legally married in public ceremonies in accordance with their beliefs and by a celebrant who holds the same beliefs and values. My fiancé and I are only asking for the same rights as religious people already have.”

A full hearing in the case is scheduled for the 26th of May.

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