Same-sex marriage spurs changes to marriage, divorce certificates

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

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 https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/policyreview. Written comments may be mailed to Washington State Department of Health, P.O. Box 47814, Olympia, WA 98504-7814.