Today the Associated Press sparked some newsworthy controversy of their own when a employee memo went out making it clear that they do not view same sex couples the same as heterosexual couples. They feel as though terms such as husband and wife are not applicable to us members of the LGBT community, despite their once believed left leaning style of reporting:
SAME-SEX COUPLES: We were asked how to report about same-sex couples who call themselves “husband” and “wife.” Our view is that such terms may be used in AP stories with attribution. Generally AP uses couples or partners to describe people in civil unions or same-sex marriages.
Later in the day, they tried (and failed miserably) to clarify the first memo issued today. It uses a bunch of jargon and unnecessary rhetoric to reiterate their narrow minded policies:
SAME-SEX COUPLES: We were asked how to report about same-sex couples who call themselves “husband” and “wife.” Our view is that such terms may be used in AP content if those involved have regularly used those terms (“Smith is survived by his husband, John Jones”) or in quotes attributed to them. Generally AP uses couples or partners to describe people in civil unions or same-sex marriages.
So what was the point in the all of this? It’s apparent that they did some backtracking after the first memo. But why make a big deal of all it in the first place? What does it take from them to use the same terms for same sex couples that they use for straight couples? You may also remember last year that the Associated Press also banned the word homophobia from use in their reporting…how strange is it that they ban the word used to describe how someone suppresses a minority. Does this mean that homophobic slurs are still allowed to be used? Something is not right about this. Careful, AP. Your bigotry is showing.