An end to ‘homophobia’? AP thinks journalists should stop using the term

Dec 3, 2012


A converted U.S. flag displays rainbow colors. Credit: Michael Smith/Getty Images

Homophobia or no homophobia? That is the question currently being debated among journalists after the Associated Press recommended against the use of “phobia” in “political and social context.” AP editors say the suffix, in cases such as “homophobia,” or Islamophobia,” can be presumptuous because it ascribes mental disability to someone who may or may not have one. 

The AP is opting for something that it sees as more neutral, such as “anti-gay,” to describe a comment or action, but avoid attributing a motive. The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association agrees, opting for something like “LGBT rights opponents.”

Do you agree or disagree? What do you think might be a better alternative? Or do you think such actions should be labeled in the traditional way?


James Rainey, staff writer, On the Media columnist, Los Angeles Times

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