Marriage Certificates Must Reflect 21st-Century Reality; Neath MP Christina Rees Is Bringing Forward a Private Member's Bill Which Would Make It a Legal Requirement for the Names and Occupations of Mothers to Be Included on Marriage Certificates. Here, She Explains Why It's Time an Archaic Tradition - Which Means the Documents Currently Just Include the Details of Fathers - Came to an End

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 30, 2015 | Go to article overview

Marriage Certificates Must Reflect 21st-Century Reality; Neath MP Christina Rees Is Bringing Forward a Private Member's Bill Which Would Make It a Legal Requirement for the Names and Occupations of Mothers to Be Included on Marriage Certificates. Here, She Explains Why It's Time an Archaic Tradition - Which Means the Documents Currently Just Include the Details of Fathers - Came to an End


I've tried to play devil's advocate with myself, trying to find an argument against it - but I just can't.

This Friday, Westminster can take a small but significant step towards reflecting the country it represents.

My bill to include the names and occupations of mothers on marriage certificates is hardly groundbreaking feminism.

It's such a simple thing, so simple that the fact it's not been changed could only be viewed as an oversight. Or is that just the optimist in me talking? I remember reading last year that the Prime Minister agreed this needed to be changed and that the then Equalities Minister Jenny Willott was going to make it happen. I then remember reading that the former Equalities Minister, and now Home Secretary, Theresa May blocked it on the grounds it was "too complex and costly".

In a strictly literal sense, marriage is a mere piece of paper, and what I'm asking the Government to do, in a strictly literal sense, is to slightly modify it, make it relevant, make it suitable for England and Wales in 2015.

After all, Northern Ireland and Scotland have already taken this "complex and costly" step.

How "complex and costly" can the cost of equality actually be? The resistance to this change is a damning indictment of society's sense of itself as a forward-thinking culture of equal opportunity.

I would at this point like to sincerely doff my cap to those who have previously tried to amend this, and those who have been vocal in their support, like Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler, who set up the #MothersOn-MarriageCerts change. …

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Marriage Certificates Must Reflect 21st-Century Reality; Neath MP Christina Rees Is Bringing Forward a Private Member's Bill Which Would Make It a Legal Requirement for the Names and Occupations of Mothers to Be Included on Marriage Certificates. Here, She Explains Why It's Time an Archaic Tradition - Which Means the Documents Currently Just Include the Details of Fathers - Came to an End
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