In 2003, the Merriam-Webster company, which has been publishing dictionaries since 1847, added a secondary definition for marriage, which included same sex couples. Only this week did the change gain national attention. According to a press release from Merriam-Webster, quoted by the Associated Press, “The edited entry merely reflected the frequency with which the term ‘same-sex marriage’ had popped up in print and become part of the general lexicon. Its inclusion was a simple matter of providing dictionary users with accurate information about all of the word’s current uses.”

The current definition of marriage found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: (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).” []