AP Bans 'Ethnic Cleansing,' 'Homophobia' From Stylebook
'Anti-gay' is more accurate, editor says
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2012 12:03 AM CST
A gay couple kiss during a march on International Day Against Homophobia in Quito, Ecuador,.   (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

(Newser) – The AP has axed terms including "homophobia," "Islamophobia," and "ethnic cleansing" from its widely followed stylebook. "Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, a phobia is a psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder," the AP's deputy standards editor explains to Politico. "Those terms have been used quite a bit in the past, and we don't feel that's quite accurate."

"Homophobia especially—it's just off the mark," the editor says. "It's ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don't have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such." But in its quest for accuracy, the AP may be jettisoning "homophobia" too hastily, writes Nathaniel Frank at Slate. A strong body of evidence suggests that at least some anti-gay sentiment really is a phobia, "and this phobia is the basis for anti-gay policy that blocks equality for millions because of irrational fears," he writes.

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Showing 3 of 53 comments
Dec 3, 2012 10:26 AM CST
HomoHATE would be more accurate than HomoPHOBIA. Anti-GAY is nothing more than bias that prevents gay people from getting equality, being treated with fairness, and receiving the respect they deserve. Civil liberties, for gays, are desperately needed.
Dec 2, 2012 5:03 PM CST
Seems like a good move. The term is terribly stigmatizing, and squashes dialogue by claiming those who reject homosexuality as being "normal" are operating under the influence of an UNREASONABLE fear, rather than reason or on moral grounds. And since no one tries to reason with anyone under the influence of a phobia, they are to be ignored until "cured". Pretty slick.
Nov 28, 2012 2:58 PM CST
I am glad they came to their senses..it's retarded to call people "phobic" of gays..like someone who is phobic of germs(like Howie Mandel) not agree with a lifestyle is not a phobia..it's called an opinion..