Top news agency bans use of term “homophobia”

ChristianConcern 3 December 2012
Associated Press (AP) has prohibited its journalists from using the word “homophobia”, saying it is inaccurate to use the term to describe someone who does not agree with homosexuality.The position is stated in AP’s Style Book, which offers guidance on the use of language by its reporters. It states that “-phobia” should not be used for “political or social contexts” as it means “an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness”.“A phobia is a psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder. Those terms have been used quite a bit in the past, and we don’t feel that’s quite accurate,” said AP deputy standards editor Dave Minthorn.“Homophobia especially – it’s just off the mark. 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, if we had reason to believe that was the case”.

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