News release

Government Updating the Solemnization of Marriage Act

Government is updating the Solemnization of Marriage Act to make it more inclusive, to align with federal legislation and to provide enhanced security to those who are marrying.

Service Nova Scotia Minister Geoff MacLellan introduced amendments to the Act today, Oct. 2. The changes include:

  • changing the name of the act to the Marriage Act
  • enhancing identity security by requiring both people who wish to marry to complete the Marriage License Affidavit needed to get a marriage licence
  • aligning the act with federal legislation by removing the authority to allow people under the age of 16 to marry
  • removing outdated language such as the terms spinster and illegitimate child.

In addition, the bill also proposes to remove specific religious references to ensure it is inclusive of all faiths

“Regulations around marriage should reflect the practices of today,” said Mr. MacLellan. “These changes benefit Nova Scotians by providing greater security for those marrying and by making the act more inclusive and easy to understand.”

“This represents a genuine advance in both a practical and important symbolic sense,” said Gerald Filson, Baha’i Community of Canada. “It will allow our growing community to more efficiently solemnize Baha’i marriages with local representatives as approved by our national governing body, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada.

“In a symbolic sense, it represents a significant signal of respect which the Government of Nova Scotia will now convey to the Baha’is of Nova Scotia and beyond to the Baha’is of Canada.”

These changes are part of Service Nova Scotia’s ongoing work to modernize its legislation to better meet the needs of Nova Scotians.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Government is updating the Solemnization of Marriage Act to make it more inclusive, to align with federal legislation and to provide enhanced security to those who are marrying.

Service Nova Scotia Minister Geoff MacLellan introduced amendments to the act today (October 2nd).

Changes include aligning the act with federal legislation by removing the authority to allow people under the age of 16 to marry, and enhancing identity security by requiring both people who wish to marry to complete the Marriage License Affidavit needed to get a marriage licence.

Mr. MacLellan says the changes benefit Nova Scotians by providing greater security for those marrying and by making the act more inclusive and easy to understand.

These changes are part of Service Nova Scotia’s ongoing work to modernize its legislation to better meet the needs of Nova Scotians.

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Media Contact:

Marla MacInnis
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