Webster redefines marriage to include gays

March 19, 2009 at 11:23 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 19 (UPI) -- U.S. dictionary giant Merriam-Webster has sparked controversy by changing its definition of "marriage" to include same-sex unions.

The new definition defines marriage as "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," but adds the term also applies to "the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage," WorldNetDaily reported Thursday.

Some WorldNetDaily readers objected to the change.

"The word 'marriage' has never been synonymous with same-sex relationships," said a reader identified as Eric B., who posted a YouTube video expressing his opposition to the change. "What is happening is the meaning is being changed to trigger it becoming synonymous, not the other way round."

Webster declined comment when contacted by WorldNetDaily but Associate Editor Kory Stamper wrote in response to a reader's inquiry that the definition had no political motivations.

"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," Stamper wrote."In recent years, this new sense of 'marriage' has appeared frequently and consistently throughout a broad spectrum of carefully edited publications ... Its inclusion was a simple matter of providing our readers with accurate information about all of the word's current uses."

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