Editorial: Should we ditch the term ‘gay marriage’?

Given the current relentless focus on the UK Government’s proposals for civil marriage equality, we are currently holding our own review into the use of the term ‘gay marriage’.

This is a term that invokes strong feelings on all sides. Some people use the term to refer to the current debate while others prefer the terms ‘same-sex marriage’, ‘marriage equality’, ‘equal marriage’, ‘opening marriage up to gay couples’ or just plain ‘marriage’.

Up until now we have used all the terms interchangeably in order to accommodate the viewpoints of all our readers. We also know that readers often search for the term ‘gay marriage’ on Google or Bing when they find our news stories about the subject. It is also the term used by many national newspapers and we feel that it’s important to show non-LGBT people our perspective on the debate by using terms that they may search for. But some people – including some of the PinkNews.co.uk team – dislike the term.

Our own preference, once the necessary legislation is introduced in the UK, is to simply refer to ‘marriage’ when referring to the marriage of a same-sex couple in the UK. If the Prime Minister is successful, gay couples will be able to marry just like opposite sex couples. The service will be the same as a heterosexual one save for there being two brides or two grooms.

But the fact is that at present, there is a legal ban on same-sex or gay marriage in the United Kingdom. There is also a constant flow of articles we publish from the United States about legislation or referendums on banning ‘gay marriage’, or sometimes more positively, repealing the ban on ‘gay marriage’.

As you can see, there are a few reasons why we’re confused. We’ve never been shy of listening to what our readers say. Our article comments are legendary, rife with fierce debate and sometimes highly critical of us. Explain how you feel, we’ll listen and respond with a final policy.

To be clear – our approach to date has been to use multiple terms in articles about the UK, with an intention to solely use the term ‘marriage’ once civil marriage equality has been achieved in this country and in articles about states and countries that enjoy marriage equality already.

We think that just as PinkNews.co.uk needs to consider the words we use, the LGBT and wider community do too.

Over to you either here on PinkNews, Facebook or Twitter using the hash tag #PinkNewsMarriage