Prior to Dec. 6, the Washington State Department of Health will seek to change the wording on marriage and divorce certificates. (Photo: AP)

State rushes to make marriage, divorce certificates fit same-sex couples

Less than two weeks before same-sex couples can begin to wed, state officials are working to tie up loose ends in the law.

Prior to Dec. 6, the Washington State Department of Health will seek to change the wording on marriage and divorce certificates. Spaces once reserved for a "bride" and "groom" will become more gender-neutral, according to department spokesperson Tim Church.

"Obviously those words aren't going to fit everybody," he said. "We are proposing a change were it will say something like 'Spouse A' and 'Spouse B.'"

The state began the process of changing the wording on marriage and divorce certificates prior to the passage of Referendum 74, Church said.

"So we could have it moving ahead, because the time between the vote and the law taking effect was only 30 days," he said. "So we started the process knowing we could just stop it if the initiative did not pass."

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed changes leading up to and during a public hearing on Wednesday. The hearing will begin at 8 a.m. at 310 Israel Rd. SE Rooms 152-153 in Tumwater, Wash.

Comments may also be submitted online or by mail to Washington State Department of Health, P.O. Box 47814, Olympia, Wash., 98504-7814.

Brandi Kruse, KIRO Radio Reporter
Brandi Kruse is a reporter for KIRO Radio who is as spontaneous and adventurous in her free time as she is on the job. Brandi arrived at KIRO Radio in March 2011 and has already collected three regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her reporting.
Top Stories

  • Bad Idea
    The man behind a staged child abduction apologizes for scaring young kids, parents

  • Oso Clean
    An army of volunteers is making sure mudslide searchers get to put on warm, dry clothes

  • Vacation Time
    Two airlines are battling for your business and you're the winner
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.