Opinions and Rants

LGBT Terminology: Is It Correct To Say Gay Marriage or Marriage Equality?

When you refer to the equal rightrs for LGBT to marry the same sex, do you say the commonly used gay marriage or do you say marriage equality? Do you think one is better than the other? Is using the terminology gay marriage detrimental or is it not a big deal? Some may not see a distinction between the two but others vehemently disagree.

Today I cam across an article saying that it is incorrect to say gay marriage while LGBT are fighting for marriage rights. A writer for The University Daily explains that saying gay marriage instead of marriage equality is not only damaging but exclusive, and to a point taking away sn identify of others:

But saying “gay marriage” rather than “marriage equality” excludes and erases the identities of a whole lot of people.Maybe you’re asking yourself, “but whatever could be wrong with saying you’re ‘for gay marriage?’ What’s the difference between ‘marriage equality’ and ‘gay marriage’ anyway—they’re the same thing right?”

Except no. They’re not.

Okay, I see her point as using this terminology makes it seem like love between two people of the same sex is abnormal. Could the terminology be a reason that some have such a hard time accepting and respecting marriage of the same sex? It certainly is no different then the love and union between a man and a woman, so maybe she’s on to something.  Marriage equality sounds  a lot more inclusive.

Further, a graduate student, Liam Lair, suggested in this article that the term gay marriage ignores bisexual and transgendered within the context of marriage:

“The term ‘gay Marriage’ makes identities beyond ‘gay’ invisible. ‘Marriage Equality’ acknowledges those various identities, but also would expand the political efficacy of the movement and include, for example, people who don’t have citizenship, trans individuals, bisexuals, polyamorous people, asexuals, and more,” 

I believe this debate is valid. Think about it for a moment in the context of race in our country. It was previously politically correct to call African Americans  black ( to some it is still acceptable) and before that we were called “colored” (aren’t we all a color? this concept confused and frustrated me so much as a child in the 80s/90s/today).

Overall, this isn’t to complicate matters or say someone is wrong because they say gay marriage instead of marriage equality, that isn’t my job. What I’m here for is to provoke thought in the news that affects us. Just an observation and introspection that maybe we haven’t thought about and discussed yet. Personally, I has transitioned into saying marriage equality more but still use the term gay marriage.

So, fellow readers, which one do you use?


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