Here in America, we’re still completely bamboozled by marriage as an open institution, so concerned with gender and religion that the marriage-guiding prospect of love is completely overlooked. A new law in Scotland, the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill, is bravely looking to twist a lot of people’s britches, should it come to pass.
The bill covers both same-sex marriages and “the detail of important protections in relation to religious bodies and celebrants, freedom of speech and education.” Essentially, it is causing people to reconsider the institution of marriage as being classified solely as a religious ceremony; humanist marriages, though non-religious, are still classified as such by law. In addition, the bill proposes an “introduction of tests which a religious or belief body would have to meet before they could be authorized to solemnize marriage,” and opens the door for non-religious groups of different kinds to fall under a new category.
As you might expect, people have taken it to hyperbolic lengths, though thankfully no one is talking about dogs and men marrying each other. However, Reverend Iver Martin, a spokesperson for the Free Church of Scotland, introduced the soon-to-be-time-honored tradition of Jedi Knights officiating weddings, so the Rev gets both a “tsk tsk” and a pat on the back for such backwards forward thinking. Here is his argument in full, as told to the network BBC Alba:
The third category is quite astonishing because it is the so-called belief category without really defining what belief means. There are loads of people in a diverse society like this for whom belief can mean virtually anything — the Flat Earth Society and Jedi Knights Society — who knows? I am not saying that we don’t give place to that kind of personal belief, but when you start making allowances for marriages to be performed within those categories then you are all over the place.
I think, of all the people to be offended by any of this, it should be the Jedi Knights, whose ironic and non-harmful beliefs are nowhere near as — and I’m being kind here — fucking loony as the Flat Earth Society, who believe our planet is a young non-orb.
After thinking all my life that I would have a Catholic church wedding, I got married in Vegas, and while I had the chance for Elvis or a mobster to officiate, my wife and I chose the non-sequined civil servant to perform the duty. I didn’t think to ask what she believed in, because it didn’t reflect on the legality of my courtship. So what’s the problem? After all, wouldn’t it be amazing to see someone use only the Force to play “Hear Comes the Bride” on the organ?