Associated Press style guide allows ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ to be used for gay married couples

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

The Associated Press has again updated its guidelines for reporting on same-sex married couples, and has accepted that “husband” or “wife” is “acceptable” to use to describe individuals in “any legally recognised marriage”.

On 11 February, a memo circulated to AP reporters stated that articles should “generally” not refer to same-sex married couples as “husbands” or “wives”.

Paul Colford, a spokesman for the AP, later 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.

A new update circulated on Thursday reads that: “Regardless of sexual orientation, husband or wife is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized (sic) marriage. Spouse or partner may be used if requested.”

The AP previously drew heavy criticism on the basis that, critics argued, that, irrespective of sexual orientation, a married couple are still married.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation struck out at the AP over the recent announcement that it would uphold the guidelines.

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.