In much ado about nothing, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. went off the deep end when he discovered that marriage licenses in Washington State will no longer list “bride” and “groom.” The epic fail of the following rant just has to be seen to believed:
So, let’s get this straight, the boxes on a marriage certificate will result the family unit exploding because it lists “Spouse A and Spouse B” instead of “Husband and Wife?” By this logic, the family unit in Massachusetts must have positively exploded once Birth Certificates no longer referred to the particular gender of the parents… except the opposite happened, and the Commonwealth instead has one of the nations lowest divorce rates in the nation, coming in far ahead of states who have passed anti-marriage-equality amendments.
Of course, not every state has ever listed “Husband and Wife” at all. Doing a basic level of research, one finds that West Virginia’s marriage licenses from the 1960’s did not list either husband or wife, although presumes the genders of those involved,as you can see here:
The words “Husband” and “Wife” are found nowhere on the application. Maybe it is just a West Virginia thing? Nope, this marriage license from South Dakota also is missing “Husband” and “Wife” boxes on the application:
Is this a new thing? Not at all, for going back to the 1930’s, we can find this license from Florida, also missing these key words:
By his argument, brothers have sisters would have been calling each other siblings, and no use of the word mom or dad or husband or wife since before Mr. Johnson was ever born!
What is the root of the issue here is that Mr. Johnson falls for the trap so many on the right do, and confuse the legal requirements for a license application with societal norms. Licenses have not used the words Husband and Wife, or Groom and Bride, without society falling apart. What Washington state is doing instead is to avoid the mess created by Mitt Romney when he failed to allow properly for same-sex couples, violating Massachusetts state law. What Mr. Johnson is arguing for is a legal nightmare which would cost the state millions in unnecessary paperwork, court costs, and grinding the system to a virtual halt, as what happened in Massachusetts under Governor Romney.
When one of these conservative media talking heads talk about marriage equality destroying the social norms, they are truly arguing for wasting taxpayer dollars on pointless symbols, a temper tantrum as they get left further behind. Even noted Republican strategist Lee Atwater understood that you cannot fight change, only adapt to it. Mr. Johnson, along with the others which Lee called “neanderthalic” ultra-conservatives, are finding themselves left behind, without a place in the future of the United States of America. And that terrifies them.