In the state of California, "Brides" and "Grooms" are no longer allowed to be joined into wedded bliss.
The new state marriage licenses now indicate a union between "Party A" and "Party B" has taken place.
A newly married California couple wrote "Bride" and "Groom" next to "Party A and Party B" on their marriage certificate because they wanted to be recognized as husband and wife. The state denied their marriage license. Their alteration was unacceptable according to the state's office of vital records.
Why was it unacceptable?
Because in a 4-3 decision, California's highest court indicated the legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman was unconstitutional. The generic designations were added to the legal document after this ruling.
The couple had been urged by their pastor to cross out the generic terms and use Bride and Groom.
I've heard some arguments that folks are worried the terms Party A and Party B will eventually apply to anyone such as animals, sorry but I highly doubt it. A man and a horse are not going to be married at the courthouse.
I personally don't like the Party A or Party B designation because I feel the letter "B" has always been considered inferior to letter "A". In the interest of equality couldn't they have come up with something different? Something that doesn't indicate superiority.
How about two lines next to each other. One person would be referred to as the party on the "left", the other, the party on the "right". Or maybe use a number and a letter indication such as one person is "Party A" and the other is "Party One".
Back in the day I probably would have happily signed on as "Party B". These days the Wild Boar and I would probably rock, paper and scissor it out to see who would get to sign as the more superior "Party A".
This whole debate makes me wonder if societies desire for inclusive tolerance creates a generic bland identity culture. And if it does, is that a problem? Or is it the way democracy should be interpreted?
It's obvious the issues of neutral gender references will ping pong back and forth for generations to come. There will always be a side of the coin not happy with the current climate of acceptable marriage in this country.
It's a tough one and will not, if ever, disappear anytime soon.
***On a lighter note, go check out the Potato Ho Down entries today happening here. You don't want to miss it!