WEDDING celebrants in Redditch and Bromsgrove are supporting a court case over the legal recognition of humanist marriages.

Six couples are going to the High Court on the 7th and 8th of July to take a landmark challenge to change the law surrounding non-religious marriages.

Their case is being supported by Worcestershire celebrants, Samantha Wilkes, who offers humanist wedding ceremonies in Redditch, and Tanith Garcia, who offers humanist wedding ceremonies in Bromsgrove - who are both accredited by Humanists UK.

The humanist couples are taking the case to try to compel the UK Government to change the law to recognise humanist weddings as legally recognised marriages, as is the case with religious weddings across the UK.

Their lawyers will argue that the current law discriminates against them because of their humanist beliefs and is therefore incompatible with human rights legislation, which precludes such discrimination.

A humanist wedding is a non-religious ceremony conducted by a humanist celebrant who shares the beliefs and values of the couple.

It differs from a civil wedding in that it is entirely personalised and reflective of the humanist beliefs and values of the couple.

Samantha was born in Bromsgrove and has lived in Redditch all her life; she has a long family history with the town and surrounding areas.

Tanith Garcia has lived in Bromsgrove for the last 8 years and is raising her family in the town that has come to mean so much to her.

Samantha said: "I have couples in Kidderminster who have planned humanist weddings for later this year and next, I believe that it is important that in England, non-religious couples should have the right to a legal humanist wedding as much as any religious person. It is hugely unfair that humanist couples have to have the legal civil marriage first, only then to have what is to them their true wedding ceremony alongside or at a later date.”

Tanith said: "It is vital that humanist ceremonies get the same legal recognition that religious ceremonies already receive. Couples that choose to have a humanist wedding see this day as their ‘real wedding’, a statement that I can back up from personal experience. This ceremony includes wording that is incredibly meaningful to the couples, much as a religious wedding is to religious couples; but then to be told that this is not legally recognised and they must also have a civil ceremony too, is discriminatory to the non-religious section of society."