dictionaries_include_gays_definition_marriageThe world’s leading English dictionaries are acknowledging that marriage is not only between a man and a woman in their definition of the word.

These revisions reflect the changing reality for gay and lesbian people in the English speaking world where same-sex marriage is receiving growning social and legal acceptance.

The Guardian reports that Macmillandictionary.com now defines marriage as “The relationship between two people who are husband and wife, or a similar relationship between people of the same sex.”

Macmillandictionary.com editor-in-chief Michael Rundell said they would also consider changing their definition of husband and wife.

Wife is currently defined as “the woman that a man is married to”, and husband as “the man that a woman is married to”.

“In a same sex relationship two men are probably not going to refer to themselves as ‘wife’, but if it’s two women, they might, so we need to keep an eye on that,” said Rundell.

The online Oxford English Dictionary has added a line to its definition of marriage – “the condition of being a husband or wife” – to state that “the term is now sometimes used with reference to long-term relationships between partners of the same sex”.

Its definitions of husband and wife are also out of date, based on being married to someone of the opposite sex, but are expected to be updated soon.

The Collins online dictionary has updated its marriage definitions to exclude any references to gender, explaining marriage as “the state or relationship of living together in a legal partnership” and “the legal union or contract made by two people to live together”.

Collins, however, also continues to define husband and wife as someone married to a person of the opposite sex.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK (England and Wales), a number of stares in the US, and Uruguay.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend