The Free Church of Scotland is concerned the new Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill will permit factions promoting any belief to be married by whom they choose.
They are particularly concerned about the possibility civil partnerships and religious marriages could be supplemented by a third category detailed in the legislation.
Reverend Iver Martin, spokesman of the church, said, “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?”
He added, “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.” The Scottish government moved to reassure anyone concerned about the new bill, saying the reputation of unions would be guarded.
It added the change concerned groups such as humanists, who considered themselves non-religious. Spokesperson for the UK’s Church of Jediism, Patrick Day-Childs, admitted there was some demand for a Star Wars-inspired ceremony but the Free Church of Scotland should not be afraid.
Did you know?
In England and Wales, over 390,000 people stated their religion as ‘Jedi’ on the official 2001 census