I've since made most of the changes laid out in this tag proposal. This included the creation of the same-sex-marriage tag, the editing of its excerpt, the removal of gay-marraige, and the editing of the polygamy tag and marriage tag excerpts.
To still be done:
- There may be questions misusing the marriage tag. There are currently 117 questions with the tag and almost all of them were drafted before this proposal.
- There may be questions that should be tagged same-sex-marriage or polygamy. These tags were created relatively recently.
The actions taken can be seen in the tags history and on questions containing the tags.
ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS:
We've had a recent headbutting concerning the [tag:marriage] tag. It started when a new user simply thought the tag ought to be inclusive of all the forms of marriage that various groups within Christianity accept. In hindsight, it wasn't the right course to jump in and make that first edit (yes, it was me), however, the tag, or tags, for these things do need clarification and rewrites.
Something does need to be done for these reasons:
- There is confusion on how to use the marriage tag. This is our primary concern; users need to be able to quickly learn from the excerpt how to use the marriage tag.
- The topic is vast and emotionally charged. We need to tread lightly so as not to offend traditionalists and yet remain inclusive of non-traditionalists.
I propose that we create separate unique tags for the non-traditional forms of marriage and keep the marriage tag reserved for the traditional view.
Evidence of need:
There already exists the polygamy tag and for the most part the community seems to be using it appropriately. There is no bigamy tag nor other polygamy related tags, but I'm not sure we need them as polygamy seems to be inclusive of those variants. There is no monogamy tag, but I don't think we need that either as Christianity's traditional view of marriage is monogamous.
There does not currently exist any tag for gay marriage. There is the homosexuality tag but it is not correctly used on a question about marriage, however the community is inappropriately using it on questions about same sex marriage. See the search results for questions containing gay marriage, same sex marriage, and to a lesser degree homosexual marriage.
How should questions about same sex marriage be tagged? There seems to be at least three terms to refer to this:
I've ordered these by personal preference and usage. To me, same-sex marriage is a far more appropriate and inclusive term and is just generic enough so it does not exclude any variants nor include any variants that are not the same type, as a plain non-traditional-marriage tag would do. Gay marriage seems both informal and somewhat exclusive to male-male marriages. Homosexual marriage seems more formal, but has the same feeling of excluding female-female marriages. It also seems to bring some baggage with it. Homosexual is a loaded word, bringing biology, psychology, history, and religion with it. That's too much for a single tag to bear. same-sex-marriage is descriptive, formal, and carries no baggage.
The marriage tag proposal (pun intended):
The marriage tag will be reserved for traditionalist views of marriage, that is, strictly one male and one female. This is the vastly predominant view of marriage in Christianity, hence the confusion of attempting to lump in non-traditional views of marriage with it. The excerpt should read:
Use this tag for questions about the attitudes and doctrines regarding traditional marriage (one male and one female). For non-traditional marriages, use the appropriate tags, such as polygamy or same-sex-marriage.
Naturally, the info tab should be rewritten to clarify this, perhaps link to this meta post, and also include links to hallmark questions that are using the tag appropriately (as is already there).
The same-sex-marriage tag will be created for any marriages that are meant to be between two males or two females. The tag excerpt should read:
Use this tag for questions about the attitudes and doctrines regarding marriages that are between two males or two females. For other non-traditional forms of marriage use the appropriate tag, such as polygamy. For the traditional view of marriage (ie. one male and one female) use the marriage tag.
The info tab should be similar to the info tab for the marriage tag, clarifying this, reasoning with a link to this meta post, and links to hallmark questions that use the tag appropriately.
The polygamy tag should be reserved for any concurrent marriages revolving around a single person (ie. one male with two wives) or marriages that are inclusive of more than two persons, whether male or female (ie. "group marriages"). The tag excerpt should be changed to:
Use this tag for questions about attitudes and doctrines regarding polygamous marriages. Polygamous marriages often describe one man married to multiple wives (polygyny); they can also describe one woman married to multiple men (polyandry). The tag also includes marriages among multiple men and multiple women ("group marriages").
This excerpt is in large part brought to you by Matt Gutting. If a need arises to make separate tags for the kinds of polygamy, then we can do that then. Right now, I see no need. Like the others, the info tab should clarify the excerpt, link to this meta post for the reasoning, and link to hallmark questions that use the tag appropriately.
So how about it, C.SE? Will you accept my marriage tag proposal?
I attempted to follow this advice for when tag wikis need to be edited combined with our community need to beat the confusion:
- The excerpt is the elevator pitch for the tag.
- Avoid generically defining the concept behind a tag, unless it is highly specialized. [This seems necessary in this case.]
- Concentrate on what a tag means to your community. [This was the driving point to break non-traditional marriages away from traditional marriage, the marriage tag.]
- Provide basic guidance on when to use the tag. [This was the paramount effort in drafting the above excerpts, which is why they all start with "Use this tag for ..."]
This meta post ultimately lead to this one: Suggestion for a minor change to the marriage tag excerpt