Vardags — Leading solicitors for high net worth individuals

Inclusion of mothers’ names on marriage certificates rejected

Only the fathers of the bride and groom are currently listed on marriage certificates in Britain. MP Christina Rees proposed legislation last month to add space for mothers. This has since been rejected by the Home Office.

Richard Harrington, a Home Office minister, said, “The Bill does not take account of different family circumstances, where there may not be a mother and father".

Home office sources state that ‘different family circumstances’ include homosexual male parents, according to The Telegraph.

“This is political correctness defying common sense,” said Colin Hart, director of the Coalition for Marriage. “This is a small change but one which makes a huge difference to a large number of people, and it is being denied because of concerns about offending people in a same sex marriage.”

Truly there is a lack of common sense at hand, because current marriage certificates cannot currently accommodate mothers – including female homosexual parents – or more than one father. Failing to revise the certificates so as not to offend male same sex couples still requires omitting one same sex parent. It also means ignoring lesbian couples entirely, in addition to heterosexual mothers.

Rees holds that the exclusion of mothers from marriage certificates accords women “second-class status”. She added, “In a developed country in the 21st century that beggars belief.”

David Cameron agreed that the certificates are out of date in August 2014, saying, “This clearly doesn’t reflect modern Britain – and it’s high time the system was updated.” Unfortunately, nothing has yet been done to rectify this seemingly simple problem.

The interests of homosexual male couples need not be ignored in order to add mothers to marriage certificates. The introduction of two boxes marked ‘parent’ could easily replace the space for the father, all while accommodating opposite sex couples, male and female homosexual couples, and even parents who do not identify as male or female.

An online petition for #MothersOnMarriageCerts has received over 70,000 signatures.

If you would like to know more about the issues covered in this article, Vardags offers a free consultation to qualifying individuals.

For high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals or their companies, our confidential enquiry line is staffed 24 hours. Call 020 7404 9390 today.