Same-sex marriage spurs changes to marriage, divorce certificates




Legalization of same-sex marriage has spurred possible revisions to the state’s rules on marriage and divorce certificates to use gender-neutral terms.

The law takes effect Dec. 6.

The state Department of Health is seeking public comments on the proposed changes until 5 p.m. Wednesday and will hold a public hearing the same day at 8 a.m. at 310 S.E. Israel Road in Tumwater.

The proposal calls for deleting terms, such as “husband” and “wife” and “bride” and “groom,” and replacing those with a gender-neutral term, such as spouse. The proposal also would add each spouse’s sex to the certificates. The addition of sex would allow officials to collect information on how many same-sex couples take advantage of the new law and how their divorce rates compare with their heterosexual counterparts.

Review the proposed changes and comment at Written comments may be mailed to Washington State Department of Health, P.O. Box 47814, Olympia, WA 98504-7814.