Angus Reid Institute: Religious weddings not more legitimate than civil ceremonies

A new poll reports than 76% of Canadians (and the same number of British Columbians) do not think religious wedding ceremonies are "more legitimate" than civil wedding ceremonies.

The numbers come a poll released by the Angus Reid Institute today that looked at Canadians' attitudes toward marriage. The Angus Reid Institute is a non-profit independent research firm.

They also found that 65% of people who've been married said they had a religious ceremony. However, a majority of British Columbians, 51%, opted for a civil ceremony. There's a generational shift as well, as across Canada 53% of 18-34 year olds had a civil marriage compared to only 20% of those over 65.

Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association

These numbers confirm what we're hearing anecdotally: Young British Columbians do not want a traditional religious marriage. Increasingly couples are looking for different options.

This mirrors what's happening around the world as secular couples are seeking out Humanist ceremonies, which can provide a more meaningful ceremony than a mere civil ceremony. Unfortunately, the Government of BC has so far refused to permit Humanists to perform marriages in the province.

Over 600 people have joined the BC Humanist Association's petition calling on the Government of BC to recognize Humanist officiants within the current law.

Sign the petition

The data come from a survey of 1520 Canadian adults between January 23 and 26, 2018 and has an estimated margin of error of ±2.5%. See the detailed data tables.

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