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Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

Section 14 – Marriages according to the usages of belief organisations

65.Section 14(1) requires the Secretary of State to arrange for a review of whether an order should be made permitting belief organisations to solemnize marriages and to consider what provision should be made in the order. Subsection (7) defines a belief organisation as an organisation whose principal or sole purpose is the advancement of a system of non-religious beliefs which relate to morality or ethics.

66.Under subsections (2) and (3), the arrangements for the review must provide for a full public consultation and the Secretary of State must arrange for a report on the outcome of the review to be produced and published by 1 January 2015.  Subsection (4) gives the Secretary of State the power to make provision by order permitting marriages according to the usages of belief organisations. The exercise of this power is subject to the affirmative parliamentary procedure. Under subsection (5), such an order may amend any England and Wales legislation (both primary and secondary legislation), and may make provision for the charging of fees. In accordance with subsection (6), such an order must also provide that there can be no religious element in a marriage ceremony under the order.

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