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Associated Press updates its style guide on whether to call married gay couples ‘husband’ or ‘wife’

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  1. how about spouse and spouse as in the old french word ? if it is not yet easy for the mind but know that husbandman merely means tending and looking after ( see horticulture etc) and that males can also be mid wives!!

    1. My best friend dislikes it when I refer to his civil partner has his husband, and a while ago we agreed that ‘spouse’ is the perfect alternative, being neutral and not having alternate meanings.

      I take his point but, were I to be in that situation, I’d have no problem with ‘husband’ myself.

      1. That makes perfect sense. If someone has a dislike of a word, it’s simple courtesy not to use it.

        Personally, I don’t like ‘partner’ because it can be confusing. I’m never quite sure what people that I don’t know well mean when they use that word. It can mean civil partner, or unmarried opposite sex partner, or business partner. Not good to get those muddled! :D

        1. Yeh when someone is introduced as your partner many feel the urge to ask if that’s business or…..? Or they fumble along hoping for a clue because they’re too embarrassed to ask! lol

  2. “The updated memo states “husband” or “wife” can be used if those involved regularly used those terms or attributed in quotes”
    They’ll be writing ‘so called’ husband/wife next. This is more discrimination against SS couples and is yet another attempt to differentiate between ‘straight’ and ‘gay’ marriages.
    When will these people relies that its EQUALITY on every level that SS couples want. And that IMO includes calling your spouse husband or wife.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Jessie

  3. They need to get rid of those quotes around husband and wife asap – they absolutely, totally make mockery of same sex relationships not being equal. “Wife” is not equal to wife!

  4. So what, I cannot call my male civil partner, ‘a wife’, this would be ridiculous, he is my ‘husband’, lesbian persons would call their civil partner ‘a wife’, ‘partners or couples’ sound inferior, when in a lifelong committed gay relationship. Having said that, when we call into our local pub it’s ‘Hi Guyz, how you doing?’.

    1. Way to miss the point. If you had an interview with AP and you didn’t explicitly call him “husband” you would be downgraded to “partner”. It’s about calling *both* husband/wife

    2. “Rolls eyes” Good grief!
      They wouldn’t call your male civil partner a wife; they’d call him a husband. They would call the partner of a female same sex couple a wife.

  5. ...Paddyswurds 13 Feb 2013, 12:11pm

    This is no surprise coming from the rabidly homophobic Associated Press… They think that they and the CIA run the world. They are also anti Marriage Equality and have opposed Gay rights for decades. The only good thing about AP is that they are yesterdays news and dinosaurs like them will soon be no more. Talk about being on the wrong side of History….sheesh.

  6. Sean Johansen 13 Feb 2013, 12:14pm

    I am in a domestic partnership in the city where I live in the US. Hopefully our state legalizes equal marriage very soon. it depends on what mood I am in when talking about my other half. Sometimes I use partner but a lot of the time it is husband. When we are married it will of course be husband.

  7. How about SPOUSE?

    Gee wiz people are so stupid and ignorant!

    If I had a partner I had a wedding and got married to him, I would still call him MY HUSBAND!

    Husband is NOT a bad word, just as much as WIFE is NOT a bad word!

    Mum and dad are not bad words either!

    What about the word parent?

    Get over it because these are just words people!

    1. Isn’t it actually more ignorant (and stupid, if you like) to speak of ‘just words’, without any understanding of derivation and alternative meanings?

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Feb 2013, 12:51pm

    I have no problem with husband, wife or spouse. People should be free to use whichever term they are comfortable with, although I object to the term ‘partner’ or ‘life-partner which suggest a business connotation. In Italy, the word sposa or sposo is still in use (spouse) for either gender alongside ‘moglie’ or ‘marito’, wife or husband in modern Italian usage.

    If I marry, I will use the word ‘husband’. It’s not appropiate to use such terminology for someone in a CP because in reality, they are not marriages are they which is why they are distinct and separate.

    1. It’s interesting that ‘moglie’ [mulier], as with ‘femme’, ‘Frau’ and (originally) ‘wife’, actually means nothing more than just ‘woman.’ ‘Sposo/a’ and its equivalents in other languages are the only words that refer to the state of being married and are used by both sexes (unlike ‘mari/to’).

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Feb 2013, 3:23pm

        Yes it is very interesting isn’t it?

  9. News services used the excuse that there was no legal relationship between members of a SS couple to deny recognition in obituaries and other “official” notices in newspapers, radio and television. Now, that legal relationships exist, AP is saying they will just ignore those legalities. It’s not a question of preferences, it is a question of legal accuracy. And AP has just stated that they uphold their bigotry higher than the law.

  10. Dec 4, 2012 – Last week the Associated Press declared war on the word “homophobia”.

  11. To me a wife is simply a female spouse, and a husband a male one. I don’t see why the spouses of same sex couples have to be called anything different than those of straight ones. It doesn’t make sense to me.

    If I get married, the woman I marry will be my wife and I’ll be hers. Simple surely?

  12. “…the memo seems to indicate “a jaring (sic) separate by (sic) equal standard for married couples.”

    Scott, you can’t even Copy and Paste correctly ! You really must try harder.

    The original Gawker wording was ‘This particular style choice makes a jarring “separate but equal” standard for married couples.’.

  13. I don’t mind which words other l&g couples use but I confess I am very uncomfortable with ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ because they are so freighted with sexism. My partner and I intend to marry, but I can’t imagine us using ‘husband’ of each other. Maybe their associations will change as a result of same-sex couples using them over time – we’ll have to see.

  14. I called my partner “husband” long before we legally tied the knot. It’s the legal protection of the one I love that matters.

  15. Personally I don’t see what the problem is with husband and wife. I would like to think I could refer to my better half as my wife! This whole thing is stupid! And completely goes again equality in my view!

    Like any heterosexual couple it should be ‘our’ choice to call one another what we wish!

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