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As courts decide the definition of marriage, does the dictionary provide any insight?

 Today, a California judge overturned the state’s Proposition 8, which dictates that marriage is “between a man and a woman.” Does our dictionary entry for “marriage” shed any light on the controversy?

Proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage agree that the legal battle is far from over; an appeal is inevitable and the Supreme Court could easily have the final say. The cultural division between those who believe that marriage should be reserved for heterosexual unions and those who say all people should share the same rights and privileges is perhaps even greater after today’s decision.

We present to you a large portion of our definition of “marriage” as an additional reference point for considering the phenomenon. Regardless of your opinion, may you find it informative and provocative.

1. a. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.  b. a similar institution involving partners of the same gender: gay marriage.

2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage.

3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.

4. a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage.

5. any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of words and music in a hit song.

6. a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.

7. a blending or matching of different elements or components: The new lipstick is a beautiful marriage of fragrance and texture.

8. Cards. a meld of the king and queen of a suit, as in pinochle. Compare royal marriage.

9. a piece of antique furniture assembled from components of two or more authentic pieces.

10. Obsolete. the formal declaration or contract by which act a man and a woman join in wedlock.

Marriage derives from the Latin maritare, “to join together. It relates to another Latin word, mas, which means “male.” Wed comes ultimately from an Indo-European root for “pledge.” Matrimony stems from the Latin roots for “the condition of motherhood.” And conjugal is a descendant of the Latin conjugare, “to join together.”

Meaning is our business; opinions are yours. How does the above information inform your perception of the issue?

Had a grudge for 20 years? Time to let go

Chicago Sun-Times April 7, 2010 | Neil Steinberg OPENING SHOT Spring is a time of renewal. I scraped all the dried leaves and scattered debris out of my garden, spread a layer of fresh mulch cooked all winter in my compost heap, and somehow held myself back from starting to put in the tomatoes and flowers — that would just be asking for disappointment.

Restraint is good. Too many people feel an impulse and go with it. Take that retired police sergeant who, more than 20 years after he was overlooked for promotion, filed an official complaint with the Independent Police Review Board and called Supt. Jody Weis “a coward” because, when shots were fired after Weis’ press conference in Englewood on Friday, Weis didn’t personally rush to the scene.

The sergeant should have restrained himself. Twenty years is too long to nurse a grudge. All he accomplished was to inspire a rare blip of sympathy for Weis, who at this point is screwed no matter what he does. Had Weis gone cowboying over to the scene of the gunfire with TV crews in tow, he would have been condemned for that, too, for showboating and not trusting his men to do their jobs.

Grudges should vanish with the seasons, winter gripes melting along with the snow. They collect otherwise, and you end up poisoning yourself. Besides, there will always be fresh complaints to replace the ones you’ve let go.

BIG GAME SATURDAY — CPD v. CFD The cops play the firemen in a football game this Saturday at Brother Rice High School. . .

Oh, all right — the police officers play the firefighters this Saturday, for the first time in recent memory, in the First Responder Memorial Game.

Frankly, I like my version better. Political correctness grates under most circumstances, but when you’re dealing with the guys (sigh, AND gals) who arrest criminals and put out fires, well, there’s little room for that kind of thing. web site force factor reviews

So who’s gonna win?

Based on the size of the respective talent pools alone, the cops should prevail — 15,000 in the CPD vs. 5,000 in the Fire Department. That isn’t quite Ohio State vs. Northwestern, but the concept is the same.

But there’s more to it than that. There’s also the physical fitness aspect. I’m not going to say that the average cop has a beer keg’s worth of fat strapped to his stomach while the average firefighter can walk on his hands up stairs. But the police have no fitness requirements, other than a pulse, so the CFD has the edge here.

Plus, the firemen have youth, according to the police, which point to the hiring the CFD began last year.

The firefighters view it differently.

“We’ve got a 52-year-old center,” said Charlie Bliss, the CFD’s offensive coordinator. “So you tell me how young that is.” Whether or not the cops — who haven’t been hiring nor working under a contract in recent years — are indeed older, they felt the need to bring in a few ringers: several Cook County sheriff’s police and a suburban cop.

The police already have a big experience advantage. Their squad, the Enforcers, has played for five years in the National Public Safety Football League, while the Fire Department team, the Blaze, is in its first season.

“We helped them get started,” said Sgt. Tim Kusinski, a detective with Area 3 and defensive coordinator for the Enforcers.

Though newer, the CFD does have an ace up its sleeve, in the form of Bliss, whose skills as offensive coordinator at Maine South built a dynasty there, and a tough head coach in Lt. Ron Michi. website force factor reviews

What else? The firefighters have a stellar quarterback, John Welch, who played at Mount Carmel and for Idaho.

“He makes things happen for us, offensively,” said Bliss.

Finally, since this is football, there is the . . . how shall we say this? . . . the emotional aspect, the explosive brute force factor. Here the duties of a police officer — the need to occasionally convey some large bad person from standing aggressively vertical to sprawled humbly horizontal with his face in the dirt –translates directly to football.

Let’s give the emotional advantage to the cops, though the occasional need to go charging up a ladder and fling somebody over your shoulder no doubt has its gridiron benefits.

“Some of these guys are completely crazy — in a good way,” said Bliss.

This is not flag football, remember, but helmet and pads football.

“This is real football,” said Kusinski. “Full contact, NCAA rules. There’s going to be some monster hits in this game, a lot of aggression, a lot of pride at stake.” Toting up all the pluses and minuses, the cops have to be a safe bet here, though I could see putting money on the firefighters, as underdogs and sentimental favorites.

The game is 3 p.m. Saturday at Brother Rice, 10001 S. Pulaski. They’re expecting up to 5,000 people — the game might have to move to Soldier Field next time.

Admission is $10 for adults, children 12 and under get in free, and needless to say every penny goes to worthy charities — the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, the Gold Star Families, the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, Ignite the Spirit, which helps firefighters and their families, 41 & 9 Foundation, a cancer research fund, and others.

Charity is nice, but both the police and the firefighters are also thinking about the bragging rights at stake here.

“This is the real deal,” said Bliss.

“This is a big one,” said Kusinski. “There’s a lot of rivalry. They’re always confident; we’re confident too.” Photo: Jody Weis Photo: The Chicago Police team — the Enforcers — on offense in a previous game.

Neil Steinberg

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