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In Love and Marriage, Do Traditional Titles Matter?

The overturning of the ban on same-sex marriage in California has changed many lives and simultaneously sparked a slew of arguments. In fact, as reported by the Sacramento Bee, a recently wed couple — Rachel Bird and Gideon Codding — are starting their own debate over the wording of the new gender-neutral marriage license, which has changed the traditional reference of Bride and Groom to Party A and Party B.

Bird offered her own explanation, saying: "We are traditionalists — we just want to be called bride and groom," and for this couple, anything else is unacceptable; they refuse to sign the license as-is. The article also mentions that this particular fight is a personal one, rather than religious. But whatever the motivation for standing their ground, I find the attachment to these two words interesting. They do represent tradition and their cultural significance is vast, but are they truly necessary? When it comes down to it, do these types of traditional titles matter to you and your relationship?


Join The Conversation
morganfay morganfay 8 years
Ugh, I hate these people. The presumption that they, white-middle class-cysgender-heterosexual-protestant people, should be /discriminated against/ by making a marriage license more inclusive? Give me a fucking break. Wake up and smell the privilege.
jedimasterarmi jedimasterarmi 8 years
I am not against same sex marriages, a few of my friends have significant others of the same gender. I am not also against the ideal of having "Party A" and "Party B" put on my liscence, although I certainly would not prefer it. Couldn't some common ground be found so that the document could be drawn up with "Bride" and "Groom" on those that wish that on theirs, "Party A" and "Party B" on those the want that on theirs, or, if one should choose, (look at SeptemberLights post) have nothing but signitures?
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
They sound like douchebags to me. They are just causing problems because they can. I'd want to be party A personally!
SeptemberLights SeptemberLights 8 years
Great point about the tax-returns seamstress! I think that the liscences should just be left blank. Why even bother saying "Party A & B". It should just have their names and signatures. The only reason I can think of to be upset is some people like to frame their marriage liscence as decoration and party A and B is not as good looking. Regardless, what a stupid thing to do. If they "remain uninsured" that is their own fault!
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
Wonderfully responsible for the father to encourage people not to sign the new marriage licenses. I agree with the comment about insurance, it's their fault if something happens and they're not covered. I just got married in August, and honestly I can't tell you what my marriage license or application said (2 separate docs). What matters is we submitted the piece of paper within the allotted time as the clerk & recorder stipulated, we had a beautiful ceremony and we are legally married. We had a wedding to show everyone our love, but we understand that the DOCUMENT is the legal part, and it should be neutral. When you submit a joint tax return they don't ask for husband's name and wife's name, do they? Why should a marriage license be different? My wish for all lovers soon have the opportunity to declare their love to the world as I have... I just happened to choose someone opposite me in gender.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
More politically correct whining nonsense. Pretty soon they will be complaining about Mr and Mrs. They are words, dont give them power over your life.
samesies samesies 8 years
I don't actually agree with the couple, but I can understand where they are coming from. The marriage license is a tangible representation of their marriage and for some, that is a very important document...possibly one of the most important documents they will ever acquire. Like how a house you've lived in for years becomes more than just building materials, a marriage license can be seen as more than just a piece of paper. I think their protest to the marriage license isn't helping them any, and will only postpone their ultimate goal of becoming a married couple. But whether I agree with them or not, I always like to see people standing up for what they believe in. Just because it doesn't matter to you, doesn't mean it is trivial.
ewray4381 ewray4381 8 years
Maybe California should consider doing what Julieulie's wedding license has, blank spaces to just write in whatever you want. I'm getting married in July so I haven't applied for the NJ license yet, but I'll be interested to see what it says since NJ allows civil unions now I believe. However, I think a marriage is about the marriage - not a stupid piece of paper. Getting the license doesn't even mean that you ARE married, it just gives you permission in the State's eyes to GET married.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
for my own relationship i think that i like some of the tradition, being bride and groom vs. party a and party b. i think that you lose something if you make it less personal and less traditional since it's more like boding 2 items together vs. bonding two people together. i can understand the wish to make it more generic to allow for same sex unions, but i think that it's just taking it a bit too far if you're going to make it about 'parties' rather than people.
julieulie julieulie 8 years
My marriage license doesn't specify ANY title (I just checked). It just has two blank lines where you write in the names -- not bride/groom, Party A/B, nothing at all. Interesting. I guess in the state where I was married, they assume you are smart enough to know that one person fills out one side with his/her information, and the other person fills out the other side. Frankly, I wouldn't care by what I was referred. The point of getting married is to GET MARRIED. I'd personally be offended if my spouse was more hung up on a title on a piece of paper that you never really use after your name change than wanting to actually be married to me. Get over it, and get married!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
But VanillaJ, nobody actually calls you that during the ceremony or anything! It's just on your marriage license, which in reality is kind of a boring legal document. I don't want to be referred to as "lessee" either but alas, that is what my lease calls me! ;) I tried to cross it off and right "supreme dictator of the world" but my landlord said it wasn't legal.
Vaadsfweytes Vaadsfweytes 8 years
I am a conservative, but I'm not against same-sex marriage. However, when I get married, I wouldn't want to be called Party A or Party B.
Marci Marci 8 years
We need to gender-neuter terms that apply to two different genders? Talk about wasting energy on something completely insignificant.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
I agree with BridgetJones that these people seem obviously against same sex marriage and are using some stupid excuse to try to get it changed b/c of that. Other than that, I think it's stupid anyway to make such a big deal about the official document. I would care about what I'm called in real life, but on the piece of paper? that's crazy. I also agree with Pop. Let them protest, no one else cares, we can all just keep ignoring them. myladybloom: Hahahhahaha, I agree about the picture. :)
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
I'm getting married in December, and I am uncomfortable being called "the bride." In my wedding vows, I certainly won't be referring to myself as "Party A," but I'm just not one to get finicky about what I'm referred to as.
foudini foudini 8 years
I live in this market and saw the report on tv. Frankly, I couldn't believe they were giving airtime to this bigoted garbage. The couple is average looking and unremarkable (i.e. nothing about their appearance or home was unusual). The couple illegally altered a legal document by crossing out A and B and writing in Bride and Groom above their names. This, of course, invalidated their license. As to the suggestion by some readers that same-sex couples be given a more gender-neutral license to sign, that absolutely undermines the point of equality. As many others have pointed out, the license is a contract between two people without differentiation. To make a distinction would be incorrect. Let's never forget that "Separate but Equal" is never equal.
myladybloom myladybloom 8 years
Off topic, I know, but: Does anyone else find the groom in the picture intimidating? Poor little bride, doesn't know what she's in for... ;)
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
And by the way, I say "who cares" to the couple? Let them protest by not signing. Doesn't hurt anyone else but themselves.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
javsmavs you are right on.
k8-rckstr k8-rckstr 8 years
"When it comes down to it, do these types of traditional titles matter to you and your relationship? " When I commented, I wasn't saying I think the license should say Bride and Groom for everyone, I was just saying in my case I would prefer that... however I agree that in cases of same-sex marriages they should be given the choice to have a more gender-neutral license.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i was also thinking about it and Party A comes off as the more dominant party anyway, so this is weird in its own right
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Geez, they can be called bride and groom by their church, their parents, and everybody else. Whatever union the government sanctions is simply a financial contract between two parties. That's it.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 8 years
This is so sad. I hope one day they realize how how insignificant this is. When you are going to fight for something I believe it should at least be something that is going to make a difference somehow in your life. This does not seem to be a battle worth fighting. when I read stuff like this I instantly picture them as people who are constantly making a big fuss over everything. They just come off as miserable people that need to make life hard for others by complaining about every stupid little thing they possibly can.
OhMyDragonflys OhMyDragonflys 8 years
I don't want to be called party a. I know you think it's immature but I want to be called the bride. Religion aside
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I agree -- I think the couple is immature. A marriage is a contract. It's entered with love, but it's a contract. It's binding. The notion of referring the different sides as Party A and Party B is accurate, in my opinion. Perhaps the couple didn't realize that? All they had were romantic notions?? Also, if they're unwilling to be legally married (i.e. unwilling to sign the marriage license), that's their choice. Aparently, being called certain labels is more important than being married to each other. I find their priorities questionable.
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