Friday, July 30, 2010

The official Spanish-language definition for "marriage" will be changed to reflect new gay reality

Darío Villanueva, the Secretary of the Real Académia Española (RAE), has said that the 2013 edition of their influential "Dictionary of the Spanish Language" will reflect the reality that gay couples can get married in several nations and localities throughout the world.

In an interview published yesterday ("RAE: Dictionary will include 'matrimonio homosexual'", EFE), Villanueva said specific changes to the dictionary's entry for "matrimonio" were still making their way through a lengthy approval process but stressed they would "appear without a doubt" [matrimonio is the Spanish word for "marriage"].

From the article:
The approval - in 2005 - of the law in Spain that allows marriage between same-sex people - Argentina has also joined in this current month -  led the Academy to consider "the need to modify the meaning of the word 'marriage' to reflect 'that reality which the law has created'".
Based in Madrid, the RAE has been the Spanish kingdom's regulatory body for the usage of Spanish since the early 1,700's, and stands today as the lead regulatory body for the language throughout the world.

Villanueva said that one of the points to be ironed out before publication is whether the final text would explicitly name the countries and localities which allow gay couples to marry.  

"Marriage" vs. "Homosexual Marriage": In it's heading and text of the article, EFE specifically states that the RAE will include the term "homosexual marriage" in it's 2013 edition but that's not so clear to me from Villanueva's quotes.

If that's the case, I am more than certain that LGBT-rights advocates throughout the world will raise the issue that "marriage" in itself hasn't changed and that, instead, some countries and localities have allowed their gay citizens to have access to the institution of marriage.  Furthermore, while a human being can be described as being "gay", a noun such as "marriage" doesn't really have a sexual identity.  Expect a clarification to come soon from RAE or from EFE.

Pederastia, Sodomia, Espray: The changes to the 2013 edition of the RAE's dictionary are part of 2,996 amendments or additions planned for the print edition. Among them are changes to the definition for the Spanish words for "sodomy" and "pederasty" to clarify that the practices are not exclusively linked to homosexuality and the addition of terms and definitions for words such as the verb abducir ("abduct") and the noun espray (an anglicism stemming from the word "spray").

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