Progressive politics, ideas & culture


some of my best friends own dictionaries

This Magazine Staff

I caught a bit of an interview on The Current this morning with a Conservative operative (sorry, didn’t catch the name – I was driving and eating at the same time), discussing the Same Sex free vote the Cons have promised as part of their “winning” election platform.

I’m confused.

After giving me my morning smile when she said “Some of my good friends are gays and lesbians, and they don’t mind at all…” (please note: it’s Martin Luther King Day!) she went on to explain that nothing about the current equal rights status for same sex couples will be challenged in the free vote. The only thing that will be determined is the definition of the word “marriage.”

Since when do countries go through a legislative process just to define a word? I mean, I know the US has been having some trouble with defining “torture” of late, but that’s less about what the word means and more about how they want to apply it near a picturesque little bay in Cuba. Just a definition without any legal application? Isn’t that why we have dictionaries?

Merriam – Webster (the Americans even):

Main Entry: mar-riage
1 a (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

Is Prime Minister Harper really going to put Canada through a process of formally defining a word his role models down south have given up on? Really?

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