The Popularity of Marriage is Not Dependent on Religion Study Shows

Press Release ( - OTTAWA, Ontario - Jul 06, 2017 - A study commissioned by Humanist Canada and published in the peer-reviewed journal Secularism and Non-Religion has shown that people seek legal marriage for reasons other than religious or social pressure. According to the report’s author, Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson, “The results of the Canadian experiment that began in the 1960s are in. Despite the removal of economic and structural rules that had at one time advantaged legal marriage, and despite the increasing secularization of the population, by the time people reach the age of 64 Canadians are as likely to have been married at least once now as they were 40 years ago.” Robertson explained that a delay in age of first marriage combined with an increased divorce rate has meant that at any given time the percentage of people who are married is less than in previous decades and this has “fooled some researchers into thinking that marriage is in decline.” Robertson noted that legal marriage is no longer commonly viewed as a prerequisite to cohabitation nor is it a rite of passage into adulthood. He suggested it now represents a public declaration involving the incorporation of another per­son’s well-being into one’s own self.

Humanist Canada President Eric Thomas noted that humanists are only licensed to solemnize marriage in Ontario and this creates an unmet need elsewhere. “While in law civil and religious weddings are equivalent, in reality marriage commissioners, judges and mayors are not normally trained in ceremony,” he explained. Humanist organizations have been denied the right to solemnize marriages in British Columbia and Quebec on the grounds that humanism is not a religion.

The full article titled Secular weddings in Canada: An examination of a humanist response to the evolution of marriage can be found at:


For further information contact:

Eric Thomas: (613) 242-5060

Lloyd Robertson: (306)425-9872

Source : Humanist Canada

CATEGORIES : Non Profit Reports Society


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