The Mirror went with:
The Sun's print version carried a photo of Mr and Mrs host Phillip Schofield with a speech bubble saying: 'Welcome to Non Gender and Non Gender', under the headline 'Ban Mr & Mrs!'. Online, the headline was:
There were many other websites that repeated the same claims.
But the story wasn't correct - the Council had not made any recommendations or published any plans at this time. The Council's Trans Equality Scrutiny Panel, who were looking into a range of issues, suggested there was a problem with a set-list of honorifics on online forms - that if you don't select one of the set options, and some trans people do not feel that the titles Mr or Mrs are suitable for them, it could prevent completion of the form. So people could still call themselves Mr or Mrs, but they would have the freedom to choose a title with which they felt most comfortable.
Jane Fae wrote in the Guardian:
They don't identify as male or female, prefer "Mx" (pronounced "Mix") as title of choice, and feel positively excluded by forms that demand they pick from a limited list of gender-specific titles. It's a small exclusion, but why should they have to put up with such when a remedy is so easily implemented?
The Trans Equality Scrutiny Panel's final report was published in January. Unsurprisingly, it does not recommend scrapping Mr and Mrs, as it explains on page 65:
Given recent press coverage of the subject of honorifics, the Panel would like to make clear that they never had any intention of recommending that the use of honorifics should be removed. The recommendation of this report is aimed at giving more choice to those who do not want to identify as Mr/Ms/Mrs/Dr. It is worth noting that this may not just apply to trans people: others may not choose to use a honorific if given the option.
Recommendation 35: The Panel welcome the addition of the honorific Mx by council benefits staff as giving an alternative option. The Panel recommend that all on-line forms are examined to look at the possibility of additional options, leaving blank or entering the title the individual feels is appropriate to them.
Three weeks on, and neither the Sun, Mirror, Mail nor Telegraph appear to have informed their readers of what has actually been recommended by the Panel. A search of all four websites using terms 'brighton mx' and 'brighton trans' reveals no new articles on this subject since October.
As the Panel said following the original articles:
We acknowledge and regret that the tone and content of much of the on-line debate over the last week has caused distress and may have damaged the trust we have sought to build up. We condemn the offensive and discriminatory tone of much of that comment, and reiterate that all members of the panel remain committed to transgender equality. We also recognise the need for balanced, fair and accurate media reporting and will be working proactively to encourage this regarding the scrutiny going forward.
(hat-tip to Jane Fae)