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on Oct 24, 2008
I am a heterosexual who does not feel threatened by gay and lesbian citizens who want to use the word "marriage" to describe their lasting commitments. I support Proposition 8, however, because I value language and meaning. As I wrote in a letter to the Almanac last month(which was not published), gays and lesbians are free to coin another word to describe lifelong commitments between "one man and one man" or "one woman and one woman." But they cannot use the word "marriage" because it is already defined as occurring between a husband and wife. Even though a man might like to call himself a "wife" or a woman a "husband," these terms, like secondary sexual characteristics, are pre-determined and immutable.
Do not be amazed that some heterosexuals feel threatened by the usurpation of the word marriage. Rather, be amazed that so many gay activists and their sympathizers envy the straight community so much for its passionate commitment to this rite that they are willing to disregard basic etymological facts in order to claim it.
Thank you for including this comment in your online edition.
Etymology as a reason to strip basic rights from gay people? Now I've heard everything!
Basics rights for a man to call himself a wife? Ewwwww. Now I've heard everything!
Merriam-Webster (1): 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 (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage> b: the mutual relation of married persons
Wikipedia: Marriage is a social, religious, spiritual, or legal union of individuals. This union may also be called matrimony, while the ceremony that marks its beginning is usually called a wedding and the married status created is sometimes called wedlock.
About.com: The definition of marriage depends on not only the historial period, but also on the geographical location and the cultural traditions of the individuals involved in the marriage relationship. A general definition of marriage is that it is a social contract between two individuals that unites their lives legally, economically and emotionally.
Note that About.com list nine kinds of marriage, and that every dictionary I checked includes same-sex marriages in its definition. Those of you who believe the the only legitimate marriages are between one man and one woman might be surprised to learn that your views are far from universal.
No matter what happens with Prop 8, the horse has left the barn on this one. And those of you who are arguing in favor of 8 because of semantics need a dose of reality!
I guess I have a very old dictionary. But even if about.com says a man can be a "wife," biology teaches me that he cannot. Reality is not dependent upon the fluctuations of culture, geography or religion.
I agree that the campaign to call same-sex unions "marriages" is a runaway horse and I sincerely hope that those who mistake such license for liberty will return to the barn before the thunder and lightning.
Your god may choose to exact vengeance against her children, but fortunately for the rest of us, ours does not. If your thunder and lightning become excessive, it may be time to fix the tv!
P.S. Why is someone from "another community" posting on our board, on this topic? Methinks Karen is a paid puppet for Prop 8!
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