WA marriage certificate gives options for traditional, same-sex couples

Revisions have been made to Washington’s marriage certificate to conform with the new same-sex marriage law, giving couples a full range of options — gender-neutral or gender-specific terms.

According to the state Department of Health, the new form has been sent to local auditors around the state. The form is effective Dec. 6 when the law takes effect.

Secretary of Health Mary Selecky approved the rules-change to add “spouse” to the existing language that includes “bride” and “groom,” allowing couples to check a box with the term they prefer. The original proposed change was to replace “bride” and “groom” with “spouse,” but many public comments suggested providing optional language, and Selecky agreed.

The new form also adds space for gender, and adds the term “parent” to the words “mother” and “father” of the applicants.

The state health department collects records of all people who marry or divorce in Washington, and provide copies of records to the public upon request. (WDOH)

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