Petition urges online dictionary to update definition of marriage

Over 90,000 people have signed campaign to correct the meaning of marriage on Dictionary.com

Petition urges online dictionary to update definition of marriage
26 May 2012

Over 90,000 people have signed a petition urging Dictionary.com to update the definition of marriage.

Petition organizer Mike Raven said: ‘I define marriage 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.’

With over 50 million visitors a month, Dictionary.com defines marriage as ‘a social institution under which man and woman establish their decision to live together as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.’

Dictionary.com says same-sex marriage is ‘a similar institution involving partners of the same sex.’

Raven said: ‘Why should same-sex marriage get the detail and care that “traditional” marriage gets? They got a blurb right? Isn’t that enough? No. With its separate but "equal" styled wording and placement, it is time they hear our voices and correct their definition.’

He adds: ‘By correcting the definition, we could affect legal arguments. We could affect naysayer’s perception.

‘We could raise awareness in a positive way and reinvigorate the energy of those who’d like to see a different, better world.

‘And we can finally call "gay marriage" what it should be called: Marriage.’

Supervising editor of the American Heritage Dictionary Steve Kleinedler believes words have changed throughout the years, and dictionaries should reflect modern thinking. For example, ‘gay’ was originally defined as ‘merry or gleeful’.

Other lexicons have followed, such as a Canadian dictionary which defines marriage as ‘the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce).’

The campaign is aiming for 150,000 signatures. You can sign the petition here.  

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Hunky Stephen Amell makes clear that gay men 'can hit on me if they want to'

Arrow star played gay spin instructor on Queer As Folk in one of first TV roles
No thumbnail available

US to announce new measures against Uganda over anti-gay law

President Barack Obama warned President Yoweri Museveni that the law would 'complicate relations' between the US and Uganda
No thumbnail available

Lithuanian lawmakers will vote on ‘homosexual propaganda’ bill today

Lithuanian lawmakers will vote today on a bill that would ban all public expression of LGBTI identity and impose fines on those who broke the law
No thumbnail available

Alabama Supreme Court orders halt to gay marriages

Marriage equality foe Chief Justice Ray Moore recused himself from vote
No thumbnail available

Boy, 11, takes down Australia PM in stunning letter supporting gay marriage

Tony Abbott gets burned by an 11-year-old who cannot understand his reasons for refusing to give gay people equal rights
No thumbnail available

Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board partners with America's biggest LGBTI civil rights group

Human Rights Campaign and Mexican beach resort will make great bedfellows
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Mumbai Pride parade sees turnout of parents marching with their LGBTI children

Some 5,000 people marched in the Indian city's eighth and one of the largest pride parades
No thumbnail available

A restrained religious response to France’s gay marriage plan

While some have claimed gay marriage in France will lead to animal sex and pedophilia, most religious leaders are more conciliatory in their tone
Sexual orientation soon to become protected class in US military

Sexual orientation soon to become protected class in US military

Pentagon is updating its Military Equal Opportunity policy to cover gays, lesbians and bisexuals