Let me preface by saying: the AP did not just stamp out the use of “homophobia” but, ANY use of “-phobia” in all social and political discourse.
This is a great move. Who is the official on labeling social/political affairs fear inducing? A phobia is something you are fearful of, to the point that it may cause permanent mental trauma. The AP is just showing that there is no room for any more ignorance in the media’s everyday social and political coverage.
George Weinberg, a psychotherapy student in the mid 1960s, coined the term “homophobia” to define “a fear of homosexuals which seems to be associated with a fear of contagion, a fear of reducing things one fought for– i.e. home and family.”
After what I believe must have been months of deliberation (maybe minutes if the AP Editors were feeling good that day), the style book used by media across the world has made a move in the right direction.
I believe the idea is: if our news doesn’t use the word, we won’t use the word. In turn, it will lose its’ power.