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Apple, OED Redefining Marriage (At Least In Their Dictionaries)

Earlier this year, a San Francisco-based group called HACKmarriage put stickers on books in libraries and bookstores that changed the definitions of marriage from being a union of a man and a woman to being a union of ‟two people.” But activists aren’t the only people changing dictionaries. Several wordsmith are reevaluating their current definitions.

Becca Gorman, the 15-year-old daughter of two lesbians, wrote Apple about the “insulting” definition of “gay” in an Apple dictionary: “informal – foolish; stupid; making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule.” Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook has been named the most powerful gay man in the world, called the Sudbury (MA) teenager to tell her that they would look into correcting the definition. Some dictionaries have removed the definition entirely whereas has changed it to “Slang: Often Disparaging and Offensive. awkward, stupid, or bad; lame: This game is really gay.”

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and the online have defined marriage as: “The relationship between two people who are husband and wife, or a similar relationship between people of the same sex.” editor-in-chief Michael Rundell said this change may lead to a redefining of the terms “husband” and “wife.” The people said that “dictionaries reflect changes in the use of language, rather than changes in law.” Their definition is “the condition of being a husband or wife; the relation between persons married to each other; matrimony,” with a supplementary line which says “the term is now sometimes used with reference to long-term relationships between partners of the same sex.”


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