State of Washington updates state certificates following same-sex marriage vote

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November 30, 2012


By Bailey Ludlam

OLYMPIA, Washington: Following the November 6, 2012 statewide election and approval of Referendum 74 the state Health Department revised the state's marriage and divorce certificates to include gender-neutral terms.[1]

Referendum 74 asked voters if same-sex couples can be allowed to legally marry. According to unofficial results, 51.79% voted in favor of the measure, while 48.21% voted against.

The new certificates will go into use starting on December 6, 2012, when the newly approved law goes into effect.[2]

The update to the state's certificates included adding the word "spouse" to the existing language that included "bride" and "groom." According to reports, originally the update called for replacing "bride" and "groom" with "spouse."[1][3]

The ballot measure language read:

The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 concerning marriage for same-sex couples, modified domestic-partnership law, and religious freedom, and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill.

This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.

Should this bill be:

[ ] Approved [ ] Rejected[4]

See also