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Associated Press: Use Terms 'Husband' or 'Wife' in Articles About Married Same-Sex Couples
  • Petitioned Associated Press

This petition was delivered to:

Associated Press

Associated Press: Use Terms 'Husband' or 'Wife' in Articles About Married Same-Sex Couples

    1. Petition by

      Gay Marriage USA

Recently the Associated Press issued writing guidance to its journalists advising them to use the terms 'couples' or 'partners' when routinely referring to same-sex married couples. This is atrocious. How dare the Associated Press disrespect the legality of these marriages. See the guidance below:

[SAME-SEX COUPLES: We were asked how to report about same-sex couples who call themselves “husband” and “wife.” Our view is that such terms may be used in AP content if those involved have regularly used those terms (“Smith is survived by his husband, John Jones”) or in quotes attributed to them. Generally AP uses couples or partners to describe people in civil unions or same-sex marriages.]

Tell the Associated Press to start routinely using the terms 'husband' or 'wife' when referring to the spouses of legally-married same-sex couples, in the same way they would refer to the spouses in an opposite-sex marriage. This double standard in language basically supports ongoing discrimination against married same-sex couples by treating them to a different standard.

Reference Articles

"Associated Press Decides Married Same-Sex Couples Aren't Really Married"
(Huffington Post, 2/13/13)

"AP bans use of words 'husband,' 'wife' for legally-wed gay couples"
(America Blog, 2/12/13)

"AP's Memo on Same-Sex Couples" (Jim Romenesko, 2/11/13)

Associated Press
Use accurate terminology when referring to legally married same-sex couples

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 750 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Adam Carlson BATAVIA, IL
      • 7 months ago

      Why is this important to me? Why ISN'T this important to everyone!? No matter who a person loves, they deserve to have that love treated the same way. Love is the most beautiful thing possible on this planet, and it shouldn't matter WHO you love.

      • about 1 year ago

      yes !!!!!

    • kris chitaree BANGKOK, THAILAND
      • over 1 year ago

      Marriage is marriage, It's no different and this was basic courtesy of referring to her as such and change define.

    • Shelly Peters HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because it's the ONLY Fair, Equal, Right thing to do! ALL humans are born equal and need to be able to Live equally...being treated as no less than another!

    • Nisa Donnelly IGO, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      There are a couple hundred thousand legally married same-sex couples living in this country. The AP needs to respect those relationships and to use the terms traditionally associated with marriage (ie, husband and wife), unless it also intends to use the term "spouse" or "partner" when discussing opposite-sex married couples. It is discriminatory to apply a widely understood term solely to one group (the special rights people who get 1,138 federal benefits while same-sex couples can be prosecuted for even attempting access). It would be quite different if this were an internal style book; it is not. You are basicallyinstructing every news organization to be discriminatory. I was a journalist for many years and still write for some news publications; I will reject this rule and instruct any copy editors with whom I work to do the same. Should my request not be respected, I will take my work elsewhere. I am encouraging all writers and editors to do the same.


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