Tag Archives: ap

Former President George H.W. Bush a witness at same-sex wedding in Maine

Former President George H.W. Bush was an official witness at the same-sex wedding of two longtime friends, according to an ABC News report.

Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, attended the ceremony for Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen on Sept. 21, spokesman Jim McGrath told ABC News. The former president signed the marriage license as a witness.

The AP reported that Bush was seated in a wheelchair, with a stack of papers on his lap and his left hand poised with a pen in a photograph of the occasion. One bright red sock and one bright blue one peek out below the cuffs of his blue slacks.

The 41st president has deep ties to the area where Thorgalsen and Clement own a general store called HB Provisions.

“This has been a wonderful wedding experience for us and we were honored to have President and Mrs. Bush not only in attendance but also happy to sign our license,” Thorgalsen, who is with her wife on their honeymoon in London, told ABC News.

“As Nancy Sosa, our officiant, said, ‘God did not make a love that is wrong.’ If we can make a difference in the world with our wedding and marriage, we are thrilled,” she added, according to the ABC news report.

One of Bush’s sons, former President George W. Bush, opposed same-sex marriage and in 2004 announced his support for a proposed federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. His wife, Laura Bush, and their daughter Barbara Bush support gay marriage, as does his former vice president, Dick Cheney.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016, has said same-sex marriage is an issue best left to the states to decide.

PHOTO: Former President George H.W. Bush at the wedding of Helen Thorgalsen and Bonnie Clement. Courtesy: Facebook/Helen Thorgalsen

Associated Press bans the term ‘homophobia’

In an attempt to neutralize journalistic descriptions of people who actively oppose gay civil rights, The Associated Press has banned use of the word “homophobic” in its stylebook, which is followed by the majority of the American press.

AP said the word “homophobia” wrongly suggests that the hatred of LGBT people is irrational or represents a psychological problem.

In the latest revision of its stylebook, AP also bans the terms “Islamophobia” and other “phobia” words in “political and social contexts.” AP also categorized the term  “ethnic cleansing” as inappropriate.

“Homophobia … (is) just off the mark,” AP deputy standards editor Dave Minthorn told POLITICO. “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.”

The man of coined the word “homophobia” disagreed. George Weinberg, who used the word in his seminal 1972 book “Society and the Healthy Homosexual,” said, “It was a hard-won word.”

“(The word) made all the difference to City Councils and other people I spoke to,” Weinberg said via email to San Diego gay journalist Rex Wockner. “It encapsulates a whole point of view and of feeling. … It brought me some death threats. Is homophobia always based on fear? I thought so and still think so. Maybe envy in some cases. But that’s a psychological question. Is every snarling dog afraid? Probably yes. But here it shouldn’t matter. We have no other word for what we’re talking about, and this one is well established. We use ‘freelance’ for writers who don’t throw lances anymore, and who want to get paid for their work.”

The LGBT media watchdog and advocacy group GLAAD said its officials are reviewing the changes to the AP guide.

Wisconsin Gazette, which subscribes to AP and generally follows its guidelines for reporters, will continue to use the term.

10 Things to Know for Friday, June 22

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today from the AP:

1. SANDUSKY JURORS ASK TO REHEAR TESTIMONY: When jurors resume deliberations at 9 a.m., what Mike McQueary and Dr. Jonathan Dranov said on the witness stand will be the focal point in the child molestation case of the former Penn State assistant football coach.

2. MOODY’S LOWERS CREDIT RATINGS ON BIG BANKS: The ratings agency is concerned whether Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs and others are able to repay their debts during times of crisis.

3. KING JAMES GETS HIS RING: NBA finals MVP LeBron James and Miami beat Oklahoma City 121-106, winning the series in five games and giving the Heat their second championship and James his first after nine years in the league.

4. PUBLIC EVENLY SPLIT ON GAY MARRIAGE: An AP poll finds that President Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage did little to shift the nation’s views on the subject. The survey also indicates that the president succeeded in firing up his core supporters on social issues.

5. OBAMA POISED TO WOO LATINO LEADERS: The president is basking in the aftermath of his breakthrough directive on illegal immigration and pressing his jobs agenda before Hispanic leaders in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., at 1:40 p.m.

6. A LIFELINE FOR OWN: Oprah Winfrey, the former queen of daytime TV, is trying to resurrect her fledging cable network with a series of big-name interviews for her show, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”

7. ONLINE VIDEO BULLYING STIRS PASSION, ANGER: A video of four seventh-grade boys mercilessly taunting a 68-year-old bus monitor in upstate New York goes viral and turns the victim into an international fundraising juggernaut.

8. WAR GAMES CALLED WARNING TO NORTH KOREA: U.S. and South Korea take part in the allies’ biggest joint live-fire drills since the Korean War.

9. THIS MAN OWNS AN ISLAND: Billionaire Oracle boss Larry Ellison is known for his elaborate and eclectic taste, and you can add owning most of an inhabited Hawaiian island – the state’s sixth-largest – to the list.

10. E-BOOK READERS SLOW TO CATCH ON AT LIBRARIES: That’s in part because they don’t know if libraries loan e-books, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.