February 13, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Activists criticize new AP policy on couples
AP, Associated Press, gay news, Washington Blade

The Associated Press Building in New York City (Photo by Alterego via wikimedia commons)

WASHINGTON – Advocates continue to criticize the Associated Press for a memo it released on Tuesday that said journalists should use the words “husband” and “wife” to describe same-sex couples only if they have used them or in quotes attributed to them.

The memo said the news agency “generally” uses “couples or partners to describe people in civil unions or same-sex marriages.”

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association referenced the U.S. Supreme Court’s Loving v. Virginia court decision in a blog post about the AP memo. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and gay blogger John Aravosis also criticized the news agency.

“It isn’t the Associated Press’ job to overrule the courts and legislatures in nine American states, and numerous foreign countries,” Aravosis wrote on his blog. “Last time I checked, it’s states that determine who is legally married in America, not the Associated Press.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

  • While it is a question of semantics. I've always tendend towards referring to gay coupling as being with my "partner or mate".

  • James Hawk Crutchfield

    This is a case where GLBT Activist should find something more important to deal with. Most of the GLBT couples I know do not refer to themselves as Husband and Wife. For GLBT individuals the term can be sexist as it come across as placing each person in a specific role in their marriage.

    The AP is saying they will use the term when the people involved have used them so it is not like they are trying to avoid it.

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