The definition of "marriage" has been debated in the halls of Congress and state legislatures, in the voting booth and the streets and on the Internet. Now one man in favor of same-sex marriage is taking his argument to the dictionary, attempting to get dictionary.com to change its definition of marriage in a petition that has been signed by more than 27,000 supporters.
Mike Raven, the man who started the Change.org petition, said he was inspired to start the sweeping campaign by his twin sister, who came out as a lesbian at 18 years old.
Raven puts its this way on Change.org:
"I believe it is time to correct the definition of marriage at our sources for what words mean: dictionaries.
"Specifically, with roughly 50 million visitors per month, we want Dictionary.com to correct the definition of marriage. Dictionary.com says that it's a 'social institution under which man and woman establish their decision to live together as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.' They then brush same-sex marriage off as 'a similar institution involving partners of the same sex.' Because why should same-sex marriage get the detail and care that 'traditional' marriage gets? They got a blurb right? Isn't that enough? No. With it's separate but 'equal' styled wording and placement, it is time they hear our voices and correct their definition."
The petition is gaining steam, as it has 27,534 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.
Petition signer Shacoiya Sanderlin said she was signing the petition out of what she believes is the absurdity of marriage laws. She also said government should not be in the business of deciding who is able to marry.
"It is legal to marry your first cousin in many states but unnatural and uncontitutional to marry someone you love and cherish," Sanderlin wrote. "Marriage is not between you and the government it is between two ppl that love each other dearly."
Joyce Nickols, a 77-year-old widow who was married to her husband for 46 years, also supported the petition.
"Having friends of the same-sex in a relationship commited to each other and their children as strong as mine makes me know you need to understand the true meaning of 'marriage,' commitment and love," she wrote. "It's time to corect your definition of 'marriage' to include all humans."
Zach Foutch said he signed the online petition "because our country was founded on the basis of freedom for all."
The gay marriage debate has heated up in recent days after President Barack Obama's watershed announcement of his "evolution" on the issue, now saying he believes gay couples should have the right to marry.
Obama's historic announcement came a day after North Carolina residents voted to only recognize marriages between men and women in their constitution and outlaw even civil unions and domestic partnerships. The state already barred gay marriage by statute before the vote was held.
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