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

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The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has struck out at the Associated Press over a recent announcement that it would uphold guidelines published on 11 February that stated that reporters should “generally” not refer to same-sex married couples as “husbands” or “wives”.

A statement from GLAAD said that the system of individual gay couples from having to tell the AP that they prefer the term “husband” or “wife” for future stories was too complicated and that “harmful double standards” could arise as the result of the policy.  

A news release from GLAAD read: “When it comes to the LGBT community, the AP has still not adequately explained a section from an internal memo which states that AP writers ‘generally’ refer to same-sex married couples as ‘couples’ or “partners” instead of ‘husbands’ or ‘wives.'”

Paul Colford, a spokesman for the AP defended the AP’s decision to send reporters a memo saying “husband” and “wife” can be used in AP stories, but that generally, and historically the AP used words like “couples” or “partners” when referring to those in a civil union or same-sex marriage.

GLAAD president, Herndon Graddick said: “The AP needs to quit obfuscating and delaying and must fix its style guidance now so that reporters describe people in same-sex marriages accurately. That the Associated Press has let this issue drag on for a week is completely perplexing. What the hell is going on over on West 33rd Street?”

David Cray, a New York based journalist, had 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.

“I will continue to depict them on equal terms, linguistically and otherwise, with heterosexual married couples, with no hesitation about using husband and wife in the cases where that’s the appropriate term.”

The statement from GLAAD concluded: “Here’s the bottom line. If you are a man, and you are married, you are ‘generally’ a husband – regardless of the gender of your spouse. If you are a woman, and you are married, you are ‘generally’ a wife – regardless of the gender of your spouse. Period.”

Robert Kessler of the news website Gawker says the memo seems to indicate “a jarring separate by equal standard for married couples.”

The AP drew similar criticism in November when it said it would stop using the word “homophobia.”

American rapper Azealia Banks, turned her attention to GLAAD earlier this week after receiving heavy criticism for an argument with blogger Perez Hilton, during which she called him a “faggot” for a second time.