Commentary: "Bride" is Back!

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Soon-to-be married Roseville couple Rachel Bird and Gideon Codding thought of themselves as bride and groom. So, when they went to fill out the state marriage license form and saw that it called them Party A and Party B, they were appalled.
In the wake of the state Supreme Court ruling legalizing same sex marriages, state officials changed the wording. They believed the courts required them to come up with gender-neutral terms, hence the exceedingly unromantic Party A and Party B.
When Bird and Codding wrote bride and groom next to A and B, Placer County officials refused to accept the altered form. The state would not recognize their union. Without a marriage license, she couldn’t change her name to his or use his medical benefits. So they sued.
Before the case went to trial, state officials relented, not because of the lawsuit, they told my colleague, Bee Reporter Jennifer Garza, but because they had heard from residents around the state angry about the new forms. New marriage certificates are being printed that will offer couples choices - the traditional bride and groom, or bride and bride, or groom and groom.
Another culture war averted, and Rachel and Gideon’s marriage will be recognized by the state: a good result all around.
Ginger Rutland writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.