New Scottish Bill Could Allow Jedi’s To Conduct Marriage Ceremonies

A new bill currently being drafted in Scotland, would allow those citizens who practice the Jedi religion the right to perform marriage ceremonies.

According to BBC reports, the new Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill, would apply to nonreligious groups like the Flat Earth Society and the Jedi Knights Society.

To some, giving those who practice unusual beliefs like the Jedi, may seem comical or even ridiculous, but in many parts of the Europe, Jedi is incredible popular with huge numbers of people citing it as their religion on official documents. In England, Jedi is the second most popular “alternative religion” with more than 175,000 people stating that they were Jedi on the 2012 nationwide census.

Discussing the powers that would be granted by the new bill, a Scottish government spokeswoman said; “Our current consultation covers not only the introduction of same-sex marriage but also the detail of important protections in relation to religious bodies and celebrants, freedom of speech and education…At the moment, marriage ceremonies by bodies such as humanists have been classed as religious, even though the beliefs of such organizations are nonreligious.”

While many Jedi will be pleased by the move to give them the power to perform marriage ceremonies, there are some Star Wars aficionadas that will perceive the move as somewhat ironic, as in the infamous saga, Jedi’s are not typically allowed to marry!
As you would expect, not everyone is pleased with the freedoms that the new bill would grant and some traditional religious leaders have already spoken out against it. Rev. Iver Martin said; “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? 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 Jedi’s have spoken out to counter this argument however, arguing that the fundamental nature of their beliefs would prevent problems from arising with other religions. Their website states; “We believe in Peace, Justice, Love, Learning and using our abilities for Good so it’s unlikely that our way conflicts with your beliefs and traditions.”

The bill wouldn’t mean just anyone with an unusual religious belief or way of life would be able to perform marriage ceremonies however. The Scottish government spokeswoman said that a rigorous screening process would be put in place, in order to prevent organizations from diluting the traditions of marriage. She said; “We are proposing the introduction of tests which a religious or belief body would have to meet before they could be authorized to solemnize marriage.”

The government intends to hold a public consultation over the new bill that will give citizens the chance to voice their opinions on its proposals.

What do you think about the new bill, should the Jedi and other “alternative religions” be given the power to perform marriage ceremonies? Leave a comment and let us know.

Image via Rik Henderson/Pocket Lint

About Sheniz Raif

I am, and think I have always been, a writer. I’ve been scribbling stories since I was old enough to hold a pen and thoroughly enjoy using my words to make people laugh or inspire them. I love going to gigs and am a professional groupie for a couple of awesome bands. I am an avid fan of socializing, football, film, and refusing to grow up! I’m also a proud member of the BODO UK team!