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Just a couple of days ago, the Belfast High Court ruled that Irish soccer player Eunan O’Kane and his fiancée, model Laura Lacole, would be allowed to have a non-religious wedding, officiated by a member of the British Humanist Association, that the government would officially recognize.

Before Friday, Northern Ireland wouldn’t recognize marriages unless a religious celebrant officiated it… or there was a separate civil ceremony. The couple sued to change that law.


Their success may be short-lived, though, now that a government official is appealing Friday’s ruling.

… Friday’s decision in Belfast High Court is now to be appealed by Northern Ireland’s Attorney General John Larkin QC.

Andrew Copson, chief executive of Humanists UK, which is supporting the couple’s case, said his clients were disappointed by the appeal.

“This is a very disappointing development given the comprehensive nature of the judgment and is deeply upsetting for both Laura and Eunan, who were so happy to have had certainty in relation to their wedding later this month,” he said.

Jesus… just let the couple have their damn wedding. They’re supposed to get married on June 22. But until this is resolved, it won’t “count” in the eyes of the government.

Copson added that he wants to see this resolved before their wedding date.

The Attorney General is going to extraordinary lengths at public expense just to stop two people who love each other from getting legally married in accordance with their beliefs. We hope that common decency might still prevail and that the Attorney General will reconsider this misconceived appeal. If an appeal does proceed, we at least hope it will be expedited and heard in advance of the wedding date or, if that is not possible, that the Orders made by Mr Justice Colton this morning will remain valid and not be set aside in the interim.

‘If the proposed appeal does proceed we understand that it will be robustly defended by Laura in order to vindicate the humane, carefully considered and entirely lawful judgment of Mr Justice Colton.

‘Laura and Eunan deserve the right to marry in accordance with their beliefs just as much as any religious couple.’

Allowing Humanists to get married (without forcing a religious official on the guest list) doesn’t hurt anybody. This isn’t a slippery slope to anything. This is just common sense and human decency.

(Thanks to @Pour_rick for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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