Mothers' names should be on marriage certificates alongside fathers' names.
  • Petitioned Theresa May

This petition was delivered to:

Home Secretary
Theresa May

Mothers' names should be on marriage certificates alongside fathers' names.

    1. Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler
    2. Petition by

      Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler

      Eastleigh, United Kingdom

  1.  
  2.   
August 2014

Victory

Victory!

The Prime Minister has announced that he has instructed the Home Office to address the inequality on marriage certificates and allow mothers' name to appear alongside fathers.

I am overjoyed that together with over 70,000 supporters, mobilised via change.org, I've succeeded in persuading the Government that mothers' names should be recorded on marriage certificates alongside fathers' names.

David Cameron said: "The content of marriage registers in England and Wales has not changed since the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign. At the moment, they require details of the couples’ fathers, but not their mothers. This clearly doesn’t reflect modern Britain - and it’s high time the system was updated. So I have asked the Home Office to look at how we can address this too."

When I started this petition just over a year ago, inspired by Caroline Criado-Perez's campaign to get a woman on a banknote, I never imagined I would get so much support and that the Prime Minister would respond to our calls -- and on my wedding anniversary!

Thank you for all your support - we did it!

In England & Wales mothers' names are not on marriage certificates.

This is not fair.

This is 2014.

Marriage should not be seen as a business transaction between the father of the bride and the father of the groom.

This seemingly small inequality is part of a much wider pattern of inequality.

Women are routinely silenced and written out of history.

There is space for the name of the father of the bride and the father of the groom and their occupations. On civil partnership certificates there is space for mothers. On Scottish and Northern Irish marriage certificates there are spaces for mothers.

Act now - sign the petition - share it with friends. Get this anachronism changed.

To:
Theresa May, Home Secretary
Mothers' names should be on marriage certificates. Fathers' names are. Please act to get the law changed so that there is a space for mothers' names on marriage certificates.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Media coverage of the victory for #MothersOnMarriageCerts

      Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler
      Petition Organizer
      PM supports equal marriage campaign

      A campaigner from Hampshire is celebrating after her petition to include the names of mothers on marriage certificates won approval from the Prime Minister. Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler from Eastleigh collected more than 70,000 signatures in support of the change. In a speech earlier Prime Minister David Cameron said: "It's high time the system was updated."

    2. Victory! PM pledges to add mothers' names on marriage certificates

      Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler
      Petition Organizer

      Victory!

      Today the Prime Minister announced that he has instructed the Home Office to address the inequality on marriage certificates and allow mothers' name to appear alongside fathers.

      I am overjoyed that together with over 70,000 supporters, mobilised via change.org, I've succeeded in persuading the Government that mothers' names should be recorded on marriage certificates alongside fathers' names.

      David Cameron said: "The content of marriage registers in England and Wales has not changed since the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign. At the moment, they require details of the couples’ fathers, but not their mothers. This clearly doesn’t reflect modern Britain - and it’s high time the system was updated. So I have asked the Home Office to look at how we can address this too."

      When I started this petition just over a year ago, inspired by Caroline Criado-Perez's campaign to get a woman on a banknote, I never imagined I would get so much support and that the Prime Minister would respond to our calls -- and on my wedding anniversary!  

      This wouldn't have happened without your signature and support, so thank you.

      For some this might seem like a small inequality to address but for me it is part of a much wider pattern where women have been written out of history. But from banknotes to marriage certificates we are coming together to change that!

      I hope this shows what people and petitions can do.

      We'll of course be keeping an eye to make sure the Home Office follow the Prime Minister's instruction and speedily make this change.

      Thank you for all your support - we did it!

      Ailsa

      PM pledges to add mothers to 'outdated' marriage certificate that only details father

      He said he has asked the Home Office to investigate how marriage certification can be reformed to include the details of both parents. Currently, a marriage certificate just asks for the name and occupation of each party's father, in addition to other details such as the names of witnesses and the person who solemnised the marriage.

    3. BBC South Today - BBC One in the South 6:30pm 16 July 2014

      Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler
      Petition Organizer

      BBC South Today will be covering the #MothersOnMarriageCerts campaign at 6:30pm on BBC One in the South region today (16 July 2014).

      The programme will be available after broadcast for 24 hours at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b048rx5s

      I have also just been on Radio Solent. This will be available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0222bvx and I am from about 1h50m.

      Please tell friends and family that the campaign you are supporting is being featured on TV and ask them to watch and to sign up at change.org/nameequality.

      Thanks,

      Ailsa
      @nameequality

    4. TV Appearances & Article by Caroline Lucas MP

      Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler
      Petition Organizer

      Watch me talk about #MothersOnMarriageCerts on BBC One Sunday Politics South. This is available on iplayer until Saturday 19 July. From 52 minutes.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b047zvv8/sunday-politics-south-13072014

      Caroline Lucas MP has written a brilliant article in the Independent which talks about the wider pattern of gender inequality of which this campaign is a part.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/gender-discrimination-shadows-women-from-cradle-to-grave-9597383.html

      The campaign has been filmed for BBC South Today and is scheduled (but not guaranteed!) to be broadcast on Wednesday BBC One South Region 6:30pm - 7:00pm.

      Thank you for your support.

      Please continue to discuss this petition with others so that the numbers of supporter rise whilst the Home Office continues to "actively consider" allowing mothers' names & occupations to be recorded on marriage certificates alongside fathers' names & occupations.

      Ailsa
      @nameequality on Twitter

      Sunday Politics South, 13/07/2014

      Andrew Neil and Peter Henley with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

    5. Equality Minister says Government taking this issue very seriously

      Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler
      Petition Organizer

      I am delighted that the Equality Minister, Sajid Javid has written to my MP, Steve Brine about #MothersOnMarriageCerts and Steve has passed this correspondence on to me.

      In February a letter sent by the Deputy Registrar General, Andrew Dent to my mother's MP Dr Sarah Wollaston disclosed that "there are no immediate plans to amend the legislation".

      It's great that through signing this petition you have helped influence Government so that 5 months later they are now "actively considering" this matter.

      Sajid Javid has said that marriage certificates should reflect the progress made on equalities since civil marriage was introduced in 1837.

      The bad news is that there is no timescale indicated for when this might happen:

      "Replacing all the registers and certificates held by local authorities, in churches and other religious buildings is logistically complex and costly, therefore we need to carefully consider a range of options for how and when to update our current system."

      This is very disappointing because there is currently physically room on marriage certificates and in marriage registers for mothers' names to be recorded.

      The law currently even allows a stepfather to be substituted for the father provided he is or has been married to the mother of the person getting married. This done by adding (step-father) after the name.

      There is no reason why the law could not be changed very quickly (particularly as this matter has cross-party support) to allow the addition of mothers names to be recorded by annotation whilst the current certificates and registers are used up.

      If you are a registrar or someone who conducts marriages then please can you let the Communications Manager of GRO (Selwyn.Hughes@gro.gsi.gov.uk) know your views.

      If you are a member of a church or another religious body who conducts marriage ceremonies in England & Wales then please raise this matter with the leadership of the church/religious body and ask them to communicate to the media whether they agree that mothers' names should be recorded on marriage certificates in 2014.

      As the majority of religious marriages which are conducted in England & Wales are in Church of England churches and since the Church of England is uniquely connected with the State I would like to know whether Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury supports #MothersOnMarriageCerts. He is aware of the campaign but I was told that he 'has no thoughts of making a statement about it at this stage'.

      Please consider emailing him at contact@lambethpalace.org.uk to ask him to add his support to this campaign.

      Thanks for your help. Please continue to share the petition link change.org/nameequality - the conversations you are having with others about this inequality are helping to shed light on everyday sexism in our world.

      Do check out the http://everydaysexism.com/ website and @everydaysexism on Twitter. As that project says - by discussing and sharing stories you "show the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss".

      Thanks for your support,

      Ailsa
      @nameequality on Twitter

    6. Equality Minister discusses marriage certificates with the Home Secretary!

      Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler
      Petition Organizer

      Even more promising news - the Equality Minister Sajid Javid has discussed Marriage Certificates with the Home Secretary Theresa May

      Sajid Javid said, '"When these rules were first set in 1837, equality was just not a priority for our society. Thankfully, today it is. These are just the kind of changes we are looking at."

      Have a look at this article on the BBC website > http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28158341 and watch this being discussed in the House of Commons from 57m30s at
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/house-of-commons-28142682.

      You - as a petition signers - are the reason that the Equalities Minister is now looking into this! 67,000 of you have pushed this right up the Government's agenda - thank you!

      Thanks also to Change.org for making it easy for us to communicate that women should not be written out of history and that legal documents should not discriminate against women in 2014.

      There are now 105 MPs who have signed the Early Day Motion (at http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/27) in support of #MothersOnMarriageCerts.

      It is important to keep adding names to this petition and to keep the pressure on Government because "The Home Office would not be drawn on the range of options it was considering or when an announcement would be made."

      Please find one person who has not signed this petition and explain to them why you think that it's important that we get #MothersOnMarriageCerts and persuade them to sign up at change.org/nameequality.

      Thanks,

      Ailsa
      @nameequality on Twitter

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28158341

      Marriage certificate could change

      Mothers' names could be included on marriage certificates, under plans being considered by the Home Office. At the moment, the certificates only require the names and occupations of the fathers of the bride and groom. There is no legal requirement - and no space on the certificate - to include mothers' names.

    7. Home Office "considering" - but we need to know when will this be done?

      Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler
      Petition Organizer

      I have a small amount of progress to report – which shows that the campaign is having an effect! Over 67,000 of you have now signed this petition.

      The Home Office have replied to a written question submitted by Caroline Lucas MP:

      Caroline Lucas: "To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will bring forward legislative proposals to allow mothers' names to be recorded on marriage certificates; if she will bring forward proposals to permit mothers' names to be retrospectively added to existing marriage certificates; and if she will make a statement."

      Karen Bradley: "We are currently considering how the information contained in the marriage entry can be updated to include this, and to reflect changes since the coming into force of the Regulation of Marriages Regulations 1986, as well as the most suitable opportunity for doing so."

      So whilst this may be a yes in principle to get #MothersOnMarriageCerts – the important question is when and will this be done before the General Election next May?

      There are currently 99 MPs who have signed the Early Day Motion in support of this campaign. Look here> http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/27 to see if yours has.

      I would love to get to over 100 MPs this week!

      If your MP has not signed the Early Day Motion then please contact them- it's really easy using http://www.theyworkforyou.com/.

      Please ask them to add their name to show their support and point out that whilst the Home Office are “considering this” there is no guarantee that this will be changed, no statement from the Government agreeing that this situation is unacceptable and crucially no timetable indicated.

      As some MPs do not sign Early Day Motions by convention due to their positions in Government or Opposition or as they are opposed to this method of lobbying it is still important for this campaign to contact them and ask them whether they agree that it is unacceptable in 2014 for legal documents to request the details of men and not allow the details of women to be recorded.

      Please continue to share the link change.org/nameequality with friends and family and urge them to join you in sending a clear message that it is not OK for mothers’ names to be omitted from marriage certificates when fathers’ names are requested.

      Many thanks for your support,
      Ailsa
      @nameequality on Twitter

    8. Reached 50,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Ailsa Griffiths HOLMFIRTH, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      Outdated sexism. Unacceptable.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • David King BOLTON-LE-SANDS, LANCASTER, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      agree must be equality - for all or it's not equality

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lisa Taylor WHITEHAVEN, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      I'm a proud single parent of three fantastic young adults. Their father like sadly many these days has no input in their up bringing so I feel not only should my name be on the cert but his shouldn't even be on there !

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Elizabeth Bogunovic ABERDARE, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      As mothers do the lions share of parenting and in some cases are not even there in the child's life. Also when another man brings up a woman's children surely the mothers name is as important

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Andrew Gray NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      Yet more evidence that we need marriage law reform more generally. Proud that our civil partnership certificate names all parents, as it obviously should.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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