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I'd favor "mate" for either member of the couple (and why only two?),
although that has other meanings, especially in Australia, or some similar
unisex word.

stevo

On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 9:31 PM, Douglas Koller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets" <[log in to unmask]<http://gmail.com/>
> >
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Saturday, February 5, 2011 10:49:12 PM
> Subject: Re: YAEUT: Husband and Wife
>
> As for the people who say there should be special words for the spouses in
> a
> homosexual relationship, I have three words for you: "separate but equal".
> Insisting that different words be used for a homosexual relationship
> compared to a heterosexual one emphasises difference, which will inevitably
> be interpreted as a value difference, namely that a homosexual relationship
> is somehow "less valid" than a heterosexual one. It may be unfortunate, but
> that's how things work. The only way to get rid of this way of thinking is
> by insisting that all relationships (and the participants in those
> relationships) get called the same way. As long as we insist on giving them
> different names, people will focus on the difference, rather than see the
> equal value. It might just be words, but sometimes words are important.
> ________________________________
>
> I don't know if I should address this, but I will try. :) In Géarthnuns,
> it's not that I think special words *should* be there or that I insist that
> they *be* there. They're just there and have been there for a quite a while.
> Mind you, Géarthtörs is set in our time, but is definitely over *there*, and
> *there*, the three-way distinction is merely that, a distinction; no more
> dunning than a distinction in words between one's maternal and paternal
> grandfathers, aunts related by blood and aunts related by marriage, or
> brothers-in-law as one's sister's husbands and brothers-in-law as one'
> wife's brothers. Distinctions are fun and have a vive-la-différence air
> about them, so enjoy. That's *there*.
>
> That said, *here*, this is still relatively new stuff; there remain the
> "separate but equal" concerns and the "if it walks like a duck and quacks
> like a duck" arguments. So, pro tem, I doubt insisting on a difference in
> gay/straight spousal and marital terminology is to be recommended, unless or
> until they arise organically, and not by fiat.
>
> Kou
>