NEW YORK - July 6 - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today urged media outlets reporting on the New York Court of Appeals' decision in Hernandez v. Robles, Samuels v. New York, and the state's other marriage cases to avoid uncritical reiteration of the plurality opinion's repeated use of the phrase "sexual preference" -- an inaccurate term for sexual orientation that violates Associated Press style guidelines.
The AP Stylebook's entry for gay reads: "Used to describe men and women attracted to the same sex, though lesbian is the more common term for women. Preferred over homosexual except in clinical contexts or references to sexual activity. Include sexual orientation only when it is pertinent to a story, and avoid references to 'sexual preference' or to a gay or alternative 'lifestyle.'"
GLAAD's Media Reference Guide contains a complete listing of Associated Press, New York Times and Washington Post style guidelines for reporting on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) stories and issues. The complete 7th edition of the GLAAD Media Reference Guide is available here.
For additional information and LGBT community reaction to today's decision, please visit the Web sites of Lambda Legal, Empire State Pride Agenda and the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian & Gay Rights Project.
To read the decision in its entirety, visit this link.