HRC Blog

Oxford English Dictionary to Consider Updating Marriage Definition

Post submitted by David McCabe, HRC Digital Media intern

The world’s most prestigious English-language dictionary is considering updating its definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, reflecting a rising global tide toward marriage equality. 

A spokesperson for the organization that publishes the Oxford English Dictionary has said that they will examine the way laws alter access to marriage rights over the next year, and likely update their definition to include same-sex partners, Gay Star News reported. 

“We continually monitor the words in our dictionaries, paying particular to those words whose usage is shifting, so yes, this will happen with marriage,” the spokesperson told the outlet.

Same-sex couples in England and Wales were given the right to marry earlier this month, with weddings to begin in 2014. Larousse, a major French dictionary, updated their definition even before marriage equality came to France.

The dictionary currently defines marriage as a “formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.” If the definition is eventually updated, the old one will likely stay in the dictionary as a historical usage.

comments powered by Disqus

Related Posts

Vote for HRC in the 18th Annual Webby Awards

Thousands Rally in Peru for Same-Sex Civil Unions