The state of California has new, gender-neutral marriage licenses, which list “Party A” and “Party B” instead of the previously-used “Bride” and “Groom”. This, of course, infringes on the rights of Rachel Bird and Gideon Codding (who wish the state to recognize them as “bride and groom”). The fact that they can, in fact, get married, does not deter them. Bird is not eligible for coverage under Codding’s medical benefits, nor can she legally take his name; a situation they share with gay couples in the majority of states. They could simply sign the form, or travel to another state and legally be married as Bride and Groom, options they do not share with gay couples in the majority of states. The article does not specify whether the couple opposes gay marriage, nor whether they feel marriage is a sacred institution and a lifelong commitment (it does state that this is the second marriage for each of them). They just want the state to call them Bride and Groom, they say.
I think it is a reasonable request, if and only if other couples can be Bride and Bride, or Groom and Groom, or Person A and Person B, dependent only on the couple’s own desires. Failing that, the current gender-neutral language does not deny any right to one group that it does not also deny to another, and (more importantly) the “right” that is denied does not in any way impede their ability to actually get married. The choice is theirs. Again, a situation they do not share with gay couples in the majority of states.
The bonds of holy matrimony
Must be seen as wholly phony
If, instead of “Bride and Groom” (or else, of “Man and Wife”),
It’s “Party A and Party B”
(That’s plainly not the same, you see!
That’s no way to address the one who’s going to share your life!)
Our Fellowship (Abundant Life)
Says marriage joins a Man and Wife
Forever as a couple, in Our Lord’s Most Holy View
As is, this form disparages
The sanctity of marriages—
(We ought to know—for each of us, it’s marriage number two)
We cannot enter wedded bliss
With such a godless form as this
A wedding contract, clearly, is between a bride and groom!
This stupid governmental form
Makes abnormality the norm—
A sign of the Apocalypse! A harbinger of doom!
If “Party B and Party A”
Is what the license now will say
The parties are both equal, which is not what God would say!
This new form is a disaster
If it doesn’t name me “Master”,
And it doesn’t state specifically, the missus must obey!
There are some who, even if they tried,
Could not—as yet—be Bride and Bride;
And could not even (yet) be Party A and Party B;
But still I hope that soon, some day
That any couple—straight or gay
Is given equal treatment here… from C to shining C.