[Albert Mohler] 24 Oct 2008--"We're talking about really refraining from using things like, husband-wife, boyfriend-girlfriend, those kind of things, and just say 'partner,'" explains Robin Sinks. She is the health education specialist for the Long Beach Unified School District in California. The point she was making is clear enough. The legalization of same-sex marriage will require a comprehensive change in our language.
Language is, as we now know, integral to a culture. In fact, anthropologists such as the influential Clifford Geertz refer to human culture as a "cultural-lingustic system." The language and the culture are inseparable. Each influences the other, and together they produce an entire system of meaning.
Until now, at least, words like "husband" and "wife" have been essential to understanding our culture. Some words have been inseparable, forming comprehensive sets of meaning together. "Marriage" goes with "husband" and "wife." "Boyfriend" goes with "girlfriend."