US: Words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ axed from marriage certificates

Wed, 28 Nov 2012

The health department in the US state of Washington is to remove the words “husband” and “wife” from marriage and divorce certificates, after same-sex marriage was approved in a recent referendum.

The state began changing the legal document wording before the public vote even happened, according to a spokesman.

Tim Church, from the health department, said spaces once reserved for a “bride” and “groom” will become more gender-neutral.

’Spouse A’

He said: “We are proposing a change where it will say something like ‘Spouse A’ and ‘Spouse B’.”

The law comes into effect on 6 December.

Over 30 states have voted against redefining marriage, just three have voted in favour.

Removed

The UK Government has said the words “husband” and “wife” will have to be removed from official documents if marriage is redefined.

And in France, the words “mother” and “father” are set to be stripped from official documents, under its plans to redefine marriage.

The move would see the word “parents” used in identical marriage ceremonies for both heterosexual and homosexual weddings.

Pledge

François Hollande, the French President, pledged to introduce same-sex marriage in his manifesto.

In Spain, terms such as “mother” and “father” have become “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B” on birth certificates.

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