On Thursday, the Associated Press added the following entry to their style guide: “Regardless of sexual orientation, husband or wife is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. Spouse or partner may be used if requested.”
Before this, the AP had never published specific guidelines on how to refer to members of same-sex couples. However, an internal memo from earlier this month stated, while exceptions can be made, “Generally AP uses couples or partners to describe people in civil unions or same-sex marriages.”
While not an egregious offense, this unnecessary distinction created controversy without any clear upside. Luckily, common sense prevailed, and the AP decided to give same-sex couples the same treatment in the press as heterosexual couples. For this, the AP is our winner of the week.