AP Stylebook recognizes same-sex couples in "husband, wife" entry

The AP revised the entry to be inclusive of all "individuals in any legally recognized marriage"

By Katie McDonough

Published February 21, 2013 10:00PM (EST)

It was only last week that a leaked internal memo from the AP reminded its staff that editorial guidelines reserve the terms “husband” and “wife” for heterosexual unions, except in cases where the same-sex couple involved used the term "regularly." But good news came in the form of an update to their guidelines on Thursday.


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.

Many people (myself included) thought the distinction seemed odd, since married couples -- gay or straight -- are still married couples. They are husbands or wives, as legally delineated by their union.

Clearly, the AP got the memo.


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Gay Marriage Lgbt Lgbt Rights Marriage Equality