Over the years I have had the opportunity to complete a lot of wedding licenses. If you have ever been married in the state of Virginia, if you work in a county clerk’s office, or if you too are an officiant, you know that one of the little boxes on the wedding license, immediately under name, sex and date of birth, is “race.” In that little box titled “race,” I generally see the typed words: white, Caucasian, African American, and occasionally something else. I usually don’t pay much attention, but I have wondered, “Why the question?” Does the state keep track for demographical statistical reasons? Is there a darker, more nefarious purpose, too? Maybe that question stems from a time when by state law interracial marriages were illegal—a law overturned, by the way, in he Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia. And more, even though the question might be innocent enough, COULD the information be used for dark, nefarious purposes even in the 21st century?
I was surprised, and yes, a little happy to see this in that little box on the wedding license I completed just a few weeks ago, after the couple’s lovely wedding in Richmond. Both the bride and groom and their families appeared to be “Caucasian” but who really knows? The important consideration here is that in that little box titled“race” was the typed phrase, “Declined to Answer.” Isn’t that something?
Happy wedding planning!
Your wedding Preacher for Hire