marriage equality

Steve Kleinedler stevekl at PANIX.COM
Mon Aug 10 02:27:26 UTC 2009

Arnold: Thank you for your mention of this. And to those of you who saw me
(or rather, didn't see that much of me) at DSNA this year, and wondered
why I was kind of in the shadows for most of the conference, it was just
two months after Peter's death and I was basically just staying out of the

In January, the final mark-up for the 2009 copyright update of the AHD
(now available, and the edits for it have been incorporated in the AHD
entries at was submitted. In the final batch of edits
included the word "widower," which we now define as "A man whose spouse
has died and who has not remarried."
( - 2nd entry down.

Joe and I edited that entry less than 2 months before the word became
applicable to me, and with each update to our other titles, marking up the
W page with that edit becomes, frankly becomes a surreal task for me.

Incidentally, we handled the 'marriage' revision for sense 1a as "The
legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife, and in some
jurisdictions, between two persons of the same sex, usually entailing
legal obligations of each person to the other." -- which is unassailably
true. (

-- Steve

> the latest Gay & Lesbian Review (July-August) has a guest opinion
> piece (p. 4) by lexicographer Steve [Steven R.] Kleinedler, "Five
> Years Later, Marriage Equality Has Settled In", about the death of his
> husband, Peter Dubuque, and some of the events that followed. from
> Steve's piece:
>    Just how far marriage equality has become a regular component of
> society here [in Massachusetts] has been made clear to me while
> interacting with people I didn't know. In decades past, authority
> figures were often adversarial to the queer community. Now, in 2009,
> the EMTs, police officers, and detectives on the accident scene were
> extremely professional, respectful, and courteous.
>    Referring to Peter as my husband doesn't raise eyebrows or result
> in scorn or sarcasm, whereas referring to him as my partner ten or
> fifteen years ago carried the risk of bad service, indifference, or
> outright hostility.
> .....
> Steve's piece is adapted from an essay ("In Massachusetts, a husband's
> death shows how important marriage is -- and how absolutely ordinary
> and accepted same-sex marriage has become" by Joe Sudbay) that
> appeared on AMERICAblog on April 23:
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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