Thursday, November 29, 2012
Washington State to Remove 'Husband' and 'Wife' From Official Documents

Washington State to Remove 'Husband' and 'Wife' From Official Documents

As Washington State prepares for same-sex marriage to be implemented on Dec. 6, lawmakers are making preparations by removing "husband" and "wife" from marriage certificates. The traditional labels for a husband and wife will be replaced with gender neutral language.

Washington State recently passed legislation that would recognize the union of a homosexual couple and as a consequence of such actions traditional words to describe a married person are in the process of being replaced with more gender neutral terminology.

"We've been quickly moving ahead to change our marriage certificate to make sure it fits for everyone who is going to be using it," Tim Church, a spokesman for the Washington state Health Department, told Fox News.

Church explained that as part of the proposal the words "bride" and "groom" could also be replaced with "Spouse A" and "Spouse B," or "Person A" and "Person B."

The change in language is being seen as controversial by many and an assault on traditional marriage. Some are accusing the move of taking away the religious identity of people.

"It is one sort of symbolic indication of how radical a change the legalization of same-sex marriage is," Peter Sprigg, of the Family Research Council, told Fox News during an interview.

"Symbolically, they are doing away with the whole concept of bride and groom, husband and wife – at least in the eyes of the law."

Church added that representatives from the state's Health Department have been in constant contact with the public as to record their input on the matter, but the state's Secretary of Health will be tasked with making the final decision on the terminology used on official state documents.

"One (person) expressed concern that she sees forms that she does not see herself in – and she's forced to make a choice on a form that is not a perfect choice for her … we want our form to work for everyone who is getting married," Church said.