Editors of the Oxford English Dictionary are considering changing the definition of the word “marriage” to include gay and lesbian couples.

The announcement comes after England approved a gay marriage law expected to take effect next summer.

“We continually monitor the words in our dictionaries, paying particular [attention] to those words whose usage is shifting, so yes, this will happen with marriage,” an Oxford University Press spokeswoman told UK LGBT news site Gay Star News.

“We are constantly monitoring usage in this area in order to consider what revisions and updates we may need to make,” she added. “It's worth pointing out that, as the OED is distinct from other dictionaries in being a historical record of the language, meanings of the past will remain, even while changes and new ones are added.”

The dictionary currently defines marriage as being a “formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.”

In a reference, the dictionary adds that marriage could also be “(in some jurisdictions) a union between partners of the same sex.”