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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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,
@nameequality on Twitter