University bans the word ‘homosexual’

A university has advised people not to use the word “homosexual”.

The guidance comes from Cardiff Metropolitan University, which released an “Code of Practice on using Inclusive Language” for staff and students last week.

The code, which warns students they may face action under bullying rules for violating the guide, applies “across all areas of Cardiff Metropolitan University activity”.

The section on Sexuality and Relationships states: “These days the terms ‘homosexual’ and ‘heterosexual’ seem laden with the values of a previous time. Referring to ‘same-sex’ and ‘other-sex’ relationships is a good option.”

It adds: “Terms such as spouse/husband/wife make assumptions about relationships and so you should only use them when you know that they are the preferred term. Otherwise ‘partner’ is more suitable.”

The guide also warns that a number of gendered terms like mankind, chairman and housewife are unacceptable and should be replaced by gender-inclusive variants.

The university released a combative statement after the story was picked up by the media.

They said: “Complaints about the excesses of so-called ‘political correctness’ and their impact on organisational cultures are not new.

“For Cardiff Met, though, academic freedom and the celebration of diversity are cornerstones of University life – and are entirely compatible with each other.”

They insisted: “The University has a joined-up approach to providing a positive working environment, free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

“As part of this approach, the University has a Code of Practice on Using Inclusive Language, which sets out to promote fairness and equality by raising awareness about the effects of potentially discriminatory vocabulary.

“It makes suggestions for the avoidance of inappropriate generalisations and provides some illustrative examples of gender-laden vocabulary with some neutral alternatives.”