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Webster's dictionary redefines 'marriage'

Posted By Bob Unruh On 03/17/2009 @ 8:39 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled

One of the nation’s most prominent dictionary companies has resolved the argument over whether the term “marriage” should apply to same-sex duos or be reserved for the institution that has held families together for millennia: by simply writing a new definition.

“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.

He created a YouTube video illustrating his concerns, which has been embedded here:

The new definition references “marriage” as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife. But the definition also includes “the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage.”

One commenter on the YouTube site said it’s just part of the campaign by homosexual activists to take control of the definition of the word and make it align with their goals.

“The word ‘marriage’ has never been synonymous with same sex relationships,” said the forum participant. “What is happening is the meaning is being changed to trigger it becoming synonymous, not the other way round.”


This excerpt is from a 1992 dictionary

A dictionary version from 1913 that has been posted online not only didn’t mention same-sex “marriage,” it supplemented its definition of traditional marriage with references from the Bible.

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“Marriage,” it said, is “the act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife … Marriage is honorable in all. Heb. xiii.4.”

It also references a quote from “Matt. xxii. 2,” “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king which made a marriage for his son.”


The dictionary’s new definition of marriage

But today, even the basic Webster’s New World College Dictionary lists “same-sex marriage,” and the Learner’s Dictionary cites “a similar relationship between people of the same sex.”

Webster declined to respond to a WND request for a comment, but to a WND reader, the company denied an agenda.

“We often hear from people who believe that we are promoting – or
perhaps failing to promote – a particular social or political agenda
when we make choices about what words to include in the dictionary
and how those words should be defined,” associate editor Kory Stamper wrote in response.

“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.”

Stamper justified the redefinition, too.

“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.



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