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GLAAD: ‘What the hell is going on with the Associated Press guidance on gay couples?’

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  1. I don’t get how so many native English speakers fail to see the blatant discrimination in the AP guidelines. It is not about the actual terms used and whether or not you like or prefer one or the other, it is simply about the fact that AP recommends using a separate set of terms for writing about straight and gay married couples, thus subtly discriminating between two kinds of marriage. If you fail to see the discrimination in that, just imagine they would issue similar guidelines for mixed race couples: white man + white woman = husband and wife, white man + black woman = “partners”. How would that be an acceptible distinction? How would that not be perceived as semantically ranking mixed race marriages somewhat below other marriages? And finally, if it is deemed unacceptible for mixed race marriages, why would such a semantic distinction be acceptible for same sex marriages?

    1. GulliverUK 21 Feb 2013, 7:42am

      And by banning the word “homophobia” they seem to be anchoring to become arbiters of the English language, like the editor of some dictionary — only dictionaries don’t dictate language, only record how it is used, and they follow how words are actually used in life, rather than telling people what they may and may not use and how. If enough people start using “wicked” to mean “good” ( !!! ) then dictionaries must record that.

      AP’s news feeds have been around a long time, but are not the “Gold” standard, papers and news organisations have a large number of incoming feeds – I often check the AP feed to make sure it’s working correctly.

      Personally, I have my own feeds about LGBT, atheism, the hate group monitors (just added) and for religion, (and minor ones for technology and general news), built out of RSS feeds. AP don’t provide a feed like that, but anyone can build one using Google Reader and rss feeds from web sites.

  2. Just don’t call the Associated Press homophobic because of it’s discriminatory guidelines…that’s all.

    1. I take it your tongue is in your cheek, Pavlos!

  3. Jock S. Trap 21 Feb 2013, 10:33am

    This is the Associated Press doing what the heterosexual have been doing for years… deciding what we should be labelled.

    It’s wrong because there is no reason why we should be expected to be told what to call each other when married.

    That’s all up to the individuals being married but saying that why do the Associated Press feel the need for difference or change. We haven’t changed but it’s out rights that are.

    That means equal, so treat people equally.

  4. Subtle homophobia – implying that our marriages somehow aren’t ‘real’. Or maybe just a total ignorance of the English language? A wife is simply a female spouse, a husband a male one. The words have NO relevance to the gender of the other person in the couple.

    1. Jock S. Trap 21 Feb 2013, 11:50am

      Indeed… it goes with everything else in that people, busy bodies who don’t have or want to marry a same sex partner telling us what to do when they wouldn’t accept it themselves.

      It the constant heterosexual labelling. If they wish to label themselves thats one thing, so be it but not to us.

  5. I’ve always hated the gender-specific terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’. Two people in a marriage are ‘partners’. What’s wrong with that? ‘Spouse’ is acceptable too. Or maybe we should invent a totally new term. ‘Swain’ …?

    1. Jock S. Trap 21 Feb 2013, 11:48am

      That’s rightly, your own personal belief but many disagree and will want to be called husband and wife in whatever marriage they have, regardless of gender or orientation. Other will choose their own, whether it be partners etc.

      It’s all down to the individuals getting married and what we can’t have is being told what we can and can’t call each other. It would be acceptable to straight couples so nor it be for Gay/Lesbian couples.

    2. Yes, you may dislike those terms, husband and wife, but you have to admit that you should have the right to use them and you should expect others to be permitted to use them if they so wish, i.e. journalists should not be advised that they should not use them. Yes?

  6. Thank you, GLAAD! I don’t want to be given any form of marriage that is not absolutely equal with traditional marriage, so that means I don’t want any form of marriage which does not entitle me to refer to my partner as my husband and which does not require others to acknowledge him as my husband.

  7. And as of February 20th I shall stop referring to AP as a news agency…. I think I shall call them ‘just plain stupid!

  8. The AP Style Book has been going downhill for years. It’s no longer a Bible of journalistic writing rules that can be applied across the board.

    Also, I suspect that AP can only make these rules work in the US and other countries that don’t have equality legislation.

    Any siub-editor worth his or her salt in England, Wales and Scotland will be able to refuse to enact the rules because they go counter to equalities legislation and if someone challenges the publication in court, the sub could be personally liable.

    Good luck in trying to make these new rules stick, AP. I’m willing to bet that within six months, you’ll have quietly buried the whole sorry mess.

  9. And there you go…

    Associated Press has announced this afternoon that the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ will no longer be applied exclusively to opposite-sex marriages.

    What’s more, they’re going to make this clear by setting up equality-based definitions in its Stylebook.

    For this magnificent reversal of AP’s policy, I can’t help but feel Thomson Reuters ought to come forward and take a bow.

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