The Associated Press,one of the largest news aggregators in the world, recently issued a new set of guidelines on journalistic style and standards, in which they said that reporters should not generally use the words “husband” and “wife” when referring to gay and lesbian spouses, Pink News reports. The only exception:
The updated AP memo clarifies that “husband” or “wife” can be used, but only if the married couple involved regularly used those terms, or if the terms are used in quotes attributed to the couple. The style guide’s suggestion that same-sex spouses should only be described as “husband” or “wife” under those two circumstances, drew criticism from LGBT groups, journalists, and from within the AP, as it was seen as creating a double standard. David Cray, a New York based journalist, said he would rebel against the rules: “The AP style guidance will have no effect on how I write about legally married same-sex couples.
As we’ve learned painfully throughout our history, words matter.