HRC Blog

AP Stylebook Formalizes Usage of “Husband,” “Wife” for First Time

The Associated Press Stylebook, the self-proclaimed “bible of the newspaper industry,” will include guidelines on how the media should use the terms husband and wife for the first time in its next edition.

Under the new definition, journalists are instructed to use the terms husband and wife regardless of sexual orientation for any legally recognized marriage, including same-sex couples ,unless the individual requests otherwise.

The AP Stylebook previously made headlines after an internal memo circulated stating same-sex couples should be referenced as partners or couples instead of huband or wife.

"The AP has never had a Stylebook entry on the question of the usage of husband and wife," said AP Senior Managing Editor for U.S. News Mike Oreskes. "All the previous conversation was in the absence of such a formal entry. This lays down clear and simple usage. After reviewing existing practice, we are formalizing 'husband, wife' as an entry."

The new edition will exclude guidelines for the term homophobia, instead instructing the media to use a “more neutral” term, such as anti-gay.

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