Comment sought on changes to marriage, divorce certificates

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OLYMPIA — The Department of Health is seeking comments from the public on proposed changes in gender-specific terms for Washington’s marriage and divorce certificates in response to the new same-sex marriage law that takes effect Dec. 6.

The department collects records of all people who marry or divorce in Washington, and issues copies of records to the public. Current forms use gender-specific terms, including bride, groom, husband, and wife. State health officials propose using gender-neutral terms on certificates.

The proposal also includes identifying the sex of couples on the certificate form.

Proposed changes are available at fortress.wa.gov/doh/policyreview/.

Written comments on the proposed rule change will be accepted until 5 p.m. that day. Comments may be submitted online or by writing to Department of Health, P.O. Box 47814, Olympia, WA 98504-7814.

A public hearing will be held at 8 a.m. on Wednesday at 310 Israel Road S.E., Rooms 152-153, in Tumwater.

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