I definitely agree with the sentiment, but I'm not sure I agree how "likely" these changes are. It seems more likely to me, because it seems generally simpler, that the gay community will just adapt to the conventions already in use by the majority. Occam's razor. This kind of cultural absorption (now that we're part of the marriage culture) would probably conform to the simplest path. But, it will be interesting to watch it all happen!I agree it sounds gender specific; that's kinda the point.
The term widow evolved into a gender specific term for the simple reason women usually outlived their husbands. It was a way of differentiating between a single woman (old maid)who had no rights of her own and a formerly married woman (widow) who still had the rights she had through her dead husband. The "widow Johnson" could own her deceased husband's property outright and in some instances was even able to vote in his place.
The term widower evolved from that for the few cases where the husband outlived his wife.
Widow/widower, husband/wife, Mr/Mrs, are all gender specific terms which will likely be changed or adapted to the new reality of same-sex spouses.
My main complaint in this mini-thread is how people like Wondering feel the need to evoke a "gay dictionary" that somehow has utterly contradictory definitions from what he's used to. They use the idea to justify their scare quotes around same-sex "marriage". As if two people of the same gender joining together as family is SO starkly different from two people of the opposite gender joining together as family. Oh no! Redefinition! We can hardly recognize it anymore!
Or as if dictionaries have only ONE definition, rather than the long lists of possible simultaneous definitions. Or as if ANY dictionary actually RULES how we must talk, rather than simply reflecting it, changes and all (which happen frequently, keep up or sound Victorian).