The state of Washington has proposed leaving the words bride and groom at the altar when it comes to marriage certificates.
With same-sex marriage becoming legal on Dec. 6, spaces on the marriage certificate once reserved for a "bride" and "groom" will become more gender-neutral for everyone, state Department of Health spokesperson Tim Church told MyNorthwest.com.
"Obviously those words aren't going to fit everybody," he said. "We are proposing a change where it will say something like 'Spouse A' and 'Spouse B.'"
The proposed rule also adds sex of the people marrying as an item on the certificate, allowing the state to track how may same-sex marriages occur. The proposal also removes the words husband and wife on divorce certificates.
In the Nov. 6 elections, Washington voters approved Referendum 74, which affirmed the legislatively backed law allowing for same sex marriage in this state.
Work began on the revised certificates before the election so they can be ready for use when the law goes into effect on Dec. 6, 2012.
The Department of Health, which collects records of all marriages and divorces that occur in Washington, is taking comment on the proposed revisions until Dec. 3.
- Attend the public hearing at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 310 Israel Rd. SE, rooms 152-153 in Tumwater, Wash.
- Comment online on the proposed certificate revisions by clicking here.
- Mail your comment to Washington State Department of Health, P.O. Box 47814, Olympia, WA., 98504-7814.
What do you think? Should Washington marriage certificates be revised to have gender-neutral wording? Do the words bride and groom hold special meaning on your marriage certificate? Tell us in comments.