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EU Walks Back ‘Inclusive Language’ Guide After International Blowback

[ANDREAS ARNOLD/dpa/AFP via Getty Images]

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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The European Union withdrew a document instructing bureaucrats to use “inclusive” language by avoiding the words “Christmas” or “European,” among other examples.

The document, titled “European Commission Guidelines for Inclusive Communication” suggested new words and phrases to replace language that the EU perceived to be exclusive. The guidelines “clearly need more work,” according to Helena Dalli, the EU’s commissioner for equality.

One should avoid portraying families as “the stereotypical nuclear unit,” the document said, because it “can make some people feel unrepresented.” (RELATED: Poland Banned Same-Sex Unions And Adoption, But The EU Is Threatening To Override Them)

The names “Mary” and “John” should not be used while giving examples, too, because they “are typically from one religion.” Instead, the document instructs individuals to say “Malika” and “Julio.”

One should “avoid linking the concept of family to a legal status” such as marriage, replace “ladies and gentlemen” with “dear colleagues” or “dear participants” and refer to Christmas time as “holiday times,” the document instructed.

The document also included guidelines on how one should properly refer to members of the “LGBTIQ” community and the correct ways to discuss immigrants. Numerous publications throughout Europe and the U.S. mocked the memo which, according to The Times, “lacked Christmas spirit.”

The “inclusive language” document’s release and retraction reflect a broader conflict in Europe between left-leaning EU bureaucrats and smaller, more socially conservative member states. The EU publicly condemned a Polish abortion law in November, for example, and the EU’s Court of Justice ruled against Hungary and Poland for laws related to sexuality and gender identity.

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