What's In A Word?: Marriage-Equality Activists Aim At The Dictionary
Via The Huffington Post:
Cultural changes can have many battlegrounds: town halls, city streets, voting booths. Now, a New Hampshire resident plans to fight the marriage-equality battle in another forum—he wants dictionaries to print a more inclusive definition of the word "marriage."
Mike Raven recently created a petition in response to North Carolina's passage of a constitutional ban on marriage equality. "While we cannot change the oppressive and discriminatory way that some religions continue to define marriage, we can go to an even better place. I believe it is time to correct the definition of marriage at our sources for what words mean: dictionaries." What new definition does he have in mind? He believes marriage should be defined as "two consenting adults, entering into a life-long relationship as husband and wife, husband and husband, or wife and wife, based on love and commitment."
His petition has Dictionary.com in its sights—a website that over 50 million people visit every month. Currently, the site's definition has no reference to same-sex unions at all, and both Merriam-Webster and the first result of a Google search yield only hetero results. At press time, his petition has accumulated 100,000 signatures with a goal of 150,000—but time will tell if this is enough to change Dictionary.com's mind.
Can changing the dictionary to more accurately reflect our culture really have an impact? You can view the official petition here.
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