What are the appropriate procedures for selecting, training and accrediting members as fit and proper persons to solemnise marriages?
The Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2012 was passed by the Dáil just before Christmas.
The Act will provide a process wherein non religious individuals will have the legal capacity to solemnise a marriage without the need for the couple to to have the marriage carried out by a civil process as well.
Only groups which have more than 50 members will have the capacity to nominate some one to carry out ceremonies.
The Act has some curious provisions
Section 3 of the Act provides that:
45A. (1) For the purposes of this Part, a body shall, subject to subsection (2), be a secular body if it is an organised group of people and—
(a) it has not fewer than 50 members,
(b) its principal objects are secular, ethical and humanist,
(c) members of the body meet regularly in relation to their beliefs and in furtherance of the objects referred to in paragraph (b),
(d) it does not have any rules regarding marriage or the solemnisation of marriages that contravene the requirements of this Act or any other enactment or rule of law,
(e) it is shown to the satisfaction of an tArd-Chláraitheoir to be a body that has appropriate procedures in writing for selecting, training and accrediting members as fit and proper persons to solemnise marriages,
(f) it is a body that, on the date of its making of an application under section 54 or 57, has been in existence for a continuous period of not less than 5 years,
Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2012, Section 3
The State does not speculate or decide who are fit and proper persons to be Catholic or Protestant Priests so why should it decide who are fit persons for registration for other organisations?