Well, I guess it’s too late to stop the redefinition of marriage, you retrograde bible-thumpers. Change has come to Merriam–Webster’s Dictionary, and this is the current definition for the word “marriage.”

Main Entry:

   mar·riage Listen to the pronunciation of marriage


   ?mer-ij, ?ma-rij\




   Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry


   14th century

1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage (same-sex marriage) b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected ; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities

3: an intimate or close union the marriage of painting and poetry – J. T. Shawcross

As you might expect, the fundies are having a conniption:

“I was shocked to see that Merriam-Webster changed their definition of the word ‘marriage,’ a word which has referred exclusively to a contract between a man and a woman for centuries. It has now added same sex,” YouTube user Eric B. noted to WND.

“The 1992 Webster’s Dictionary does not mention same sex at all,” he wrote.

Associate Editor at Webster’s, Kory Stamper responded to one irate wingnut with the obvious:

“We hear such criticism from all parts of the political spectrum. We’re genuinely sorry when an entry in – or an omission from – one of our dictionaries is found to be offensive or upsetting, but we can’t allow such considerations to deflect us from our primary job as lexicographers.”

…”In recent years, this new sense of ‘marriage’ has appeared frequently and consistently throughout a broad spectrum of carefully edited publications, and is often used in phrases such as ‘same-sex marriage’ and ‘gay marriage’ by proponents and opponents alike. Its inclusion was a simple matter of providing our readers with accurate information about all of the word’s current uses,” Stamper wrote

What the anti-gay Dominionists cannot deny is that their battle to save the word marriage is over. Marriage equality exists not only in Massachusetts, but several countries. The literal definition has to change, or its inaccurate — no matter how many tear-ridden YouTubes they make.  

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding