The Royal Spanish Academy, the official agency responsible for regulating the Spanish language, has updated the word “marriage” to include the union of a gay or lesbian couple.

The Madrid, Spain-based RAE's (Real Academia Espanola) most famous publication is the Diccionario de la lengua espanola de la Real Academia Espanola (Dictionary of the Spanish Language of the Royal Spanish Academy), the DRAE.

In its upcoming 23rd print edition of the dictionary, the word “marriage” will be updated to include the following definition: “Under some laws, a union of two persons of the same sex, contracted by certain rites or legal formalities to establish and maintain a lifelong union.”

“The RAE does not endorse words, it records what people use,” said Dario Villanueva, RAE secretary and coordinator of the commission which produced the DRAE.

Merriam-Webster, the Massachusetts-based publisher of English language dictionaries, first included gay unions in its definition of marriage in 2003, a year before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. Social conservatives in 2009 attempted to pressure the company to drop the inclusion.