New Scottish law might mean a Jedi could officiate your wedding

Contributed by
Mar 19, 2013, 6:38 PM EDT

"Kiss the bride, you may."

Yoda speech, long brown robes, John Williams music and a canopy of raised lightsabers probably aren't new things in the realm of geek weddings, but depending on how the government ends up interpreting a new marriage law, you may soon be able to get legally married in Scotland by a real-life Jedi.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill which the government is considering right now would allow you to get married by a group promoting a "belief," though not necessarily a religious one. If it passes, it would mean that in addition to having the option of being married by a judge or by a priest (or rabbi, etc.), you could also get married by a member of any group promoting a certain belief. That word "belief" could open up marriage ceremonies to a wide variety of groups, and the Free Church of Scotland doesn't seem too happy about that.

"The third category is quite astonishing because it is the so-called belief category without really defining what belief means," said Church spokesman Reverend Iver Martin. "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 government is conducting "public consultation" on the bill right now, in part because the government's classification of which groups are considered "religious" is already a bit murky.

"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," a government spokeswoman said. "As part of the consultation we have outlined the reason for suggesting a third type of ceremony.

"At the moment, marriage ceremonies by bodies such as humanists have been classed as religious, even though the beliefs of such organisations are non-religious."

So, if the government does create that "third category," would people who profess to be Jedis (or, say, Asgardian worshippers or Cthulhu cultists or even Bruce Lee enthusiasts) be guaranteed the ability to marry people who also profess those beliefs? According to the spokeswoman, that'll depend ...

"We are proposing the introduction of tests which a religious or belief body would have to meet before they could be authorised to solemnise marriage."

 So, if the bill passes and the Jedi way of life stands up to government "tests," we could be in for some very interesting weddings in Scotland very soon.

 (Via BBC)