October 7, 2008
California to recognize 'bride' and 'groom' again
Rachel Bird married Gideon Codding in church last month, but discovered that "Party A" or "Party B" have replaced "bride" and "groom" on California marriage licenses. Jenniger Garza of the Sacramento Bee reported:
In May, after the California State Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal, the courts mandated state officials to provide gender-neutral licenses and other marriage forms. "Bride" and "groom" became "Party A" and "Party B."Bird and Codding have refused to complete the new forms, a stand that has already cost them. Because their marriage is not registered with the state, Bird cannot sign up for Codding's medical benefits or legally take his name.
The couple filed suit. The complaint is here.
In a major policy reversal, the state agency responsible for overseeing marriage licenses this week said it would allow applicants to identify themselves as brides or grooms -- a key demand raised by a Roseville couple who last week announced they would sue state and local officials over the gender-neutral form.The new forms - which provide a checkbox for both partners to mark any combination of bride and groom -- will be available beginning in late November, said Suanne Buggy, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Public Health. She added the department would process the Roseville couple's marriage form, which had been rejected after they wrote in the words "bride" and "groom" above the pre-printed "party a" and "party b."
A rare victory for common sense. Perhaps the pending ballot initiative in California, a constitutional amendment making "marriage" a relationship between a man and a woman, has something to do with this move. It is, of course, only an administrative decision, easily reversible after the election.
Hat tip: Christopher Schweickert