AP Style Book Ends Use of Smear Term ‘Homophobia’ in Political and Social Contexts

“Homophobia” is routinely used to describe opposition to homosexuality and the “gay” movement.

Needless to say, we at AFTAH are pleased that the Associated Press has dispensed with the use of the pejorative term “homophobia” in its official and influential Style Book. “Homophobia” is usually employed by pro-”gay” advocates to denigrate sincere and well-meaning opponents of homosexuality as irrational bigots.

Predictably, homosexual activists like John Aravosis — the very types who routinely smear pro-family advocates like this writer (and organizations like the Boy Scouts) as “homophobes” — are disappointed with AP’s decision.

We at Americans For Truth, like our peers in the pro-family, conservative movement who stand in principled and faith-based opposition to the LGBT political and cultural agenda, do not “fear” homosexuals. We simply disagree profoundly with the normalization of homosexual behavior and the elevation of homosexuality and “gay” identity to “civil rights” status.

Of course, there are people who do fear homosexuals, but there are also people who fear conservative Christians. So isn’t it odd that “homophobia” (and “Islamophobia”) became mainstreamed in America’s media-driven lexicon, while “Christian-phobia” did not? (And now transgender activists, piggybacking off the semantic success of their homosexual allies, are pushing the equally dubious “transphobia” to advance their agenda.)

You could easily fill ten large books with examples of abuses of the tendentious term “homophobia” and its derivative, “homophobe,” in the same-sex debate. Advocates of homosexuality and foes of biblical sexual morality would never allow themselves to be categorized and caricatured as “phobes” — our friend John Biver posits the Secular Left as “morality-phobia” HERE — yet they pretend that somehow “homophobia” objectively describes opposition to homosexuality. That’s because to far too many homosexual advocates, the end justifies the means, and the “gay” cause advances when its critics are cynically and falsely cast as hateful and fearful creeps.

We will have more on this story. For now, it is gratifying to see AP make a move toward neutrality, objectivity and fairness in its coverage of homosexuality. — Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH

Politico reports (emphasis added):

AP Nixes ‘Homophobia,’ ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

By Dylan Byers, 11/26/12

The Associated Press has nixed “homophobia,” “ethnic cleansing,” and a number of other terms from its Style Book in recent months.

The online Style Book now says that “-phobia,” “an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness” should not be used “in political or social contexts,” including “homophobia” and “Islamophobia.” It also calls “ethnic cleansing” a “euphemism,” and says the AP “does not use ‘ethnic cleansing’ on its own. It must be enclosed in quotes, attributed and explained.”

“Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, 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,” AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn told POLITICO.

“When you break down ‘ethnic cleansing,’ it’s a cover for terrible violent activities. It’s a term we certainly don’t want to propagate,”Minthorn continued. “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.”

“We want to be precise and accurate and neutral in our phrasing,” he said.

The changes made to the online Style Book will appear in next year’s printed edition.

This article was posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 at 1:03 am and is filed under A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, Homophobia-casting a wide net, Language of the Debate, Media Promotion, Media's Liberal Bias (General), News, Redefining Morality, The Bible, Churches, & Homosexuality. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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