Scotland legislature is currently considering a Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill with an interesting stipulation for a “third type of ceremony.” Designed to give secular yet philosophical organizations or movements that set themselves apart from organized religion or even religion in the first place the ability to hold legal marriage ceremonies, it allows “groups promoting a belief” to marry people.
Now, before you go “Oh, come on, nerds, just because they put some vague wording in you’ve connected it to Star Wars, stop seeing stuff that isn’t there,” you should know that it’s not us that’s saying this opens the door for actual Jedi weddings. It’s the Free Church of Scotland.
Reverend Iver Martin told the BBC:
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.
In 2012, more than 150 thousand people listed “Jedi” as their religion in English and Welsh census forms, making it the single most popular “alternative” religion. But fear not, Sith lords: Scotland’s bill is still on the drawing board. A spokeswoman for the Scottish government said that among the things that needed adding to the bill were a provision for same-sex marriages, “important protections in relation to religious bodies and celebrants, freedom of speech and education,” and a better definition of “belief.” The third provision remains important, however. “At the moment, marriage ceremonies by bodies such as humanists have been classed as religious, even though the beliefs of such organisations are non-religious.”
She said they are considering creating a set of standards or tests that a “religious or belief body” would have to measure up to to be allowed to perform marriages. Might I suggest midichlorian counts?