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Oxford English Dictionary to Redefine ‘Marriage’ to Include Same-Sex Couples

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons)

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons)

Opponents of marriage equality often accuse same-sex marriage advocates of attempting to “redefine marriage.” Now the world’s most trusted English-language dictionary is set to do just that in order to acknowledge the reality of legalized gay marriage.

Gay Star News reports the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) have announced their definition of the word ‘marriage’ will change to include same-sex couples. This is largely due to the fact that Britain recently legalized gay marriage.

“We continually monitor the words in our dictionaries, paying particular [attention] to those words whose usage is shifting, so yes, this will happen with marriage,” an Oxford University Press spokeswoman told Gay Star News.

Currently, the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary defines marriage as “the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.” Beneath that definition is the following: “(in some jurisdictions) a union between partners of the same sex.”

Some LGBT advocates view the secondary definition as discriminatory and believe that same-sex marriage should be recognized the same as heterosexual marriage.

In Canada, where gay marriage is also legal, the Canada Space Dictionary defines marriage as “the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce).

In France, which also recently legalized same-sex marriage, the dictionary of record– Larousse– has changed the definition of marriage to read: “a solemn act between two same-sex or different-sex persons, who decide to establish a union.”

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2 Comments

  1. Ivalene HammondJuly 27, 2013 at 7:20 amReply

    Wow. And I think it was Sweden, has a word for men +women, gender neutral. We have no such word in English. Bet you think that’s just accidental……………

  2. sadamericanJuly 27, 2013 at 10:30 amReply

    That brand of dictionary stays on the shelf

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