Dr. Morse on Why She Isn't Using the Phrase "Same-Sex Marriage" Anymore


Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute explains:

You may have noticed that I do not use the term “same sex marriage” very often. In fact, I am making a conscious decision not to use the term at all any more. I think the term gives away too much ground to our opponents. Continually using the term makes it possible to believe that such a thing as a marriage between people of the same sex is possible.

I don’t use the term “square circle” because such an entity is not possible. Likewise, I think it is not possible for two people of the same sex to be married to each other. So, I use another term that I believe is more accurate.

I use the phrase “redefinition of marriage” or “so-called same sex marriage,” or in a pinch, “genderless marriage,” depending on the context.

Even “genderless marriage” is questionable because it is naming something that is an impossibility. Gender is essential to marriage. The move to make same sex unions the legal equivalent of opposite sex unions requires that gender be removed from the understanding of marriage. If this legal movement to redefine marriage succeeds, it will be creating something entirely new. Nothing will be left of marriage but the name, as I have said in articles and lectures called, “The Institution Formerly Known as Marriage.” But at least the term “genderless marriage” calls attention to what is at stake in the debate.

What do you think?