Government by dictionary

The job of the state is not to uphold the dictionary of the English language. Any argument about “changing the definition of marriage” doesn’t take into account the fact that sociologically speaking, marriage has been defined as a union between two people for some fifty years now, or that marriage rites have been performed for same-sex couples, whether blessed by the state or not, by a increasing amount of churches each and every year. The fact is the language is reflective of society’s definitions, not the other way around. Marriage already includes, legally, same-sex unions in two English speaking countries (Canada and South Africa) where the effective definition has already changed. I’m certain that debates about changing the dictionary in the great halls of Oxford and Cambridge and Webster are already well under way. What argument will these people have when the definition in the dictionary is reflective of society as a whole and the legal system?

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