October 7, 2008

Bride And Groom Are Back

I was quite astonished a while back to find someone who actually thought that taking the words "bride" and "groom" off a marriage license application meant that there was no long any such thing as marriage in California. (What about Spanish speakers? Because they use words like "novia" and "novio" or "marito" and "mujer", does that mean they're not married?) It seemed a hypertechnical obsession with semantics and form over substance to me.

Well, he and his ilk have nothing to complain about anymore. "Bride" and "Groom" are back on the California marriage certificate. See for yourself: it looks like this. You can check off if you want to be called the "bride" and if you want to be called the "groom." I suppose you could technically have two brides or two grooms. And you don't have to use those phrases if you don't want to, but if you think those phrases are important to being actually married, then you can. I suppose you can even say to yourself that if someone has a license in which those boxes aren't checked off, they're not really married if that makes you feel better (although you still can't deny that they are the joint holders of the license, with the legal rights and responsibilities that the license brings).

Point is, a mixed-gender couple getting married can now have the state call them "brides" and "grooms" if they want that (as if that ever mattered in the first place). So if being a "bride" and a "groom" is what it means to be married, then you can still get married in California. (Although you always could.) And if you think your earlier license was incorrect in some way, you can file another form and get those terms included retroactively.

Heterosexual marriages do not need protection. They are in no danger at all and never have been.

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