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  • So how do dictionaries define marriage, anyway?

Comments Apr 30, 2015 3:22 pm

Perhaps one of the attorneys arguing for requiring all the states to recognize same-sex marriages could have responded to Chief Justice Roberts's citation of dictionaries as precedental legal authorities the same way Justice Elena Kagan responded  to the assertion by the lead attorney for those opposing same-sex marriages, that the decision should be left to the "democratic process," where the people discuss and issue and "persuade."  Kagan replied, "Mr. Bursch, we don't live in a pure democracy.  We live in a constitutional democracy.  And the Constitution imposes limits on what people can do ...".

Here, the response would be, "Justice Roberts, we don't live in a pure lexicocracy [sic]."


Reply to at 3:22 pm Apr 30, 2015 10:44 pm

Not only that.  Marriage gets defined very differently in lots of places around the world. Among the Nuer of southern Sudan, a woman can marry a ghost, or be classified as a "bull" and marry another woman.  Muslims who follow the Qu'ran can have marriages that include one man and up to four women.  The Nayar of southern India, along with some Tibetan groups and some Nigerian groups on the Jos Plateau, practice polyandry, with one woman marrying several men.  It's a big world out there.  Americans who claim "tradition" as their moral compass are only referring to one "tradition."  There are a lot of others.  And as the world shrinks, many of those "others" are relocating to plenty of other places, including the U.S.

Reply to at 10:44 pm