Look it up in the dictionary, seriously: it’s “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law” or “the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage” or even simply put an “intimate or close union.”
You won’t find any inherent ‘Christian’ origin to the word. In fact, according to the Merriam-Webster, the word was first used in the 14th century. Think about the origins of God’s Word, and you can surmise that the actual English word of ‘marriage’ wasn’t obviously used! It’s a translation.
So…. That being said, why are people still arguing like little children over a ‘word?’
You have your traditionals, mostly religious, taking ownership of the institute itself, and same-sex couples wanting the right to use the word as well. The fact is this: a marriage is a marriage, regardless of same sex or traditional man and wife. What you call it doesn’t matter. Look at the dictionary again.
For Lord’s sake, we’re not going to call them ‘unions’ or anything, or else we’ll have to change a bunch of other things: holy matrimony to legal union, getting married to getting ‘unioned,’ marriage vows to union promises (because you know the religious rite would be all over the word ‘vow,’ too).
Get off the high horse with the ‘marriage is from God’ stuff and let it go. Homosexuals have every right to get ‘married’ as anyone else, right? Let’s not twist and confuse the system anymore by injecting more lingo into something that should be simple (after all, marriage is a lot of things but simple!).