What may have been a first in The New York Times, or any other MSM publication, occurred over the weekend in the obit for Gerry Studds, the first openly gay Congressman. The paper attributed word of his death to Studds' "husband."
Not "companion." Not "lover." Not "life mate."
Instead, we got husband, which, of course, is accurate given that Studds lived in Massachusetts, where two men can live in wedded bliss.
The AP, whose obit was used by the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, also referred to Dean Hara as husband, as did the Boston Globe, but not the Washington Post, which instead used the phrase "who married Mr. Studds in 2004 shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts" when referring to Hara.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, a usually-more-enlightened paper, also couldn't bring itself to call Hara a "husband," rewriting the AP obit to use the "who married Mr. Studds shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004" terminology.
In the news business, they're called "weasel words."
For those newspapers' gay readers and employees, they're probably calling them lame.