October 25th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

Newspaper won't print gay marriage announcements

Greg Gould and Aurelio Tine say they just wanted to share their wedding plans.

So they went one of the largest papers in New Hampshire, where gay marriage is legal and generally accepted, to work up a wedding announcement.

But the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Manchester paper known for its conservative viewpoints, refused to print it, a decision that has sparked anger from the couple and lit up the Twittersphere and the Web.

"I was really disappointed because the Union Leader is a big voice in the state of New Hampshire, and they seem to be so out of touch," Gould told CNN affiliate WMUR-TV in Manchester.

The newspaper, however, issued a statement saying that printing the announcement would be "hypocritical" given its previous practices.

“This newspaper has never published wedding or engagement announcements from homosexual couples," Publisher Joe McQuaid said. "It would be hypocritical of us to do so, given our belief that marriage is and needs to remain a social and civil structure between men and women and our opposition to the recent state law legalizing gay marriage.”

In its full statement, printed online, the paper said firmly that it is not "anti-gay" and because of press freedoms can choose to print - or not print - whatever it wants.

Still, that move hasn't stopped the matter from becoming a controversy, with Democratic Senate candidate Paul Hodes, making it an election issue as well.

Hodes wrote a letter to the paper that read in part: "Mr. Gould and Mr. Tine will become legally married this weekend and they should have the same opportunities as everyone in New Hampshire to have their marriage publicized and recognized. The Union Leader's disgraceful policy of exclusion harkens to a different time in this country when people were denied opportunity because of their race, religion and ethnic origin."

What do you think? Should the paper give gay couples the same chance to announce their weddings? Or does freedom of the press override that, and allow the newspaper to make the decision it did? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

soundoff (665 Responses)
  1. And who created you?

    Le 18:22 'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. It was pretty clear, not a gray area but black and white.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin H

      As was killing people for adultery, but we have decided we can live without enforcing that. Why is this different?

      October 25, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Pick and choose whatever agrees with your own prejudices. If people REALLY cared about following everything in the Bible, they'd be trashing divorced people, people who eat shellfish, and athletes or anyone working in the Sabbath. Just hypocrisy.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Yeah, Leviticus is really not the way to go here.

      October 26, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Erik

    Mr. Gould accuses the New Hampshire Union Leader of being out of touch, but the oposite it true. Anyone who suports gay marriage is out of touch with reality. Even if the government is misguided enough to say that two men may marry, that does not make it a marriage. The inherent meaning of marriage is that it is a covenant between a man and a woman. A marriage of two men or two women would be a false marriage, even if the government says they are married. Everyone knows this. The very idea that it is all right to be gay is one of the great lies of our time. The falsly accused Union Leader is correct in not supporting the gay agenda. Intelligent, knowledgeable and morally upright organizations and individuals do not suport sinful behavior such as the gay agenda.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafael

      Newspapers are supposed to report news in their news section and editorials in the editorials section. Announcements are news items are not part of the paper that they are supposed to support or reject. A decision like this puts into questions the integrity of any of their news reporting.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marco

      Erik, yo might want to actually study what's made a marriage throughout history. Then post.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • danny

      sin does not exsist.. your judgement creates darkness.. witness.. do not choose.. judgement is wrong

      October 26, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • peanutman

      Amen Erik,

      October 26, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • China Blue

      To Eric. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Is that so?

      October 26, 2010 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. hank

    I never thought the day would come when people let that little box in the corner (or wall now) convince them that it's o.k. to be GAY!! You know it's not right, you look at yourself in the mirror daily and instead of dealing with how you look, you think eventually they will get it!!! YOUR NOT GAY!!! YOU HAVE ISSUES YOU ARE AFRAID TO DEAL WITH. Seek help, read your bible and ask yourself if everyone was GAY would I be here??????

    October 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafael

      It's a poor argument. If everyone chose not to have children you wouldn't be here, but that doesn't mean our society should discriminate against childless couples. We're talking about individuals making personal decisions that don't affect you, and making arguments about the continuity of the human species seems a bit desperate.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marco

      hank, that's a intriguing thought. It'd be great if anti-gay bigots were never here in the first place.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • danny

      you need to educate yourself a bit.. seriously.. do not speak until you do as it is very unbecoming

      October 26, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    As a struggling local publication, the Union Leader (or Union Misleader, as many call it in New Hampshire) should try to find every revenue stream it can, including from the publishing of gay marriage notices. Yes they have a right not to publish gay marriage notices – it might shave a few years off of its tail cash flows, which might be better for all of us! The paper, if it even exists 10 years from now, will look back at this story the same way it looks back on its racist portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in the 1960s.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Melissa

    Very sad that the newspaper would make such a choice. Pitiful, in fact.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • peanutman

      Shut your trap Mellissa

      October 25, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • China Blue

      My my my peanutman, it's time for you to go to bed. Your comments are becoming increasingly bitter and hostile (on top of the innate childishness they've always projected). Calm down, dear man. Nothing good can come of working yourself into a sweat. God might deliver a heart attack upon you, and you wouldn't want to appear in front of him with all of that rage on your face, would you? It might be hard to explain when you're asked how you did in the "love thy neighbot as yourself" category.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. BertG

    In a more historic perspective, this is like a mixed-race couple in the South before civil rights laws were passed. Imagine...our little Birmingham, Alabama,in the state of New Hampshire. "Live Free or Die" is their state motto. This is poop in your face, New Hampshire!

    October 25, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave

    The newspaper is not the government, and therefore excluded from first amendment influences. However, sometimes silence is speech – so by not publishing the announcement, the paper's are making a statement. Though I disagree with their statement, I don't disagree with their rights. I find it hard to believe we are fighting over a stupid newspaper announcement when the very debate over the extent of civil liberties is just getting started.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kristina

    I respect the papers choice to print what they deem valuable. They are a business after all, and it just so happens the majority of the people who actually read the paper are older and they wish to not alienate that audience. However, they should not be making themselves the news. In the end they only hurt their reputation for those who are long withstanding. Which hurts the bottom line in the long run. I personally think just because you have a right to discriminate, doesn't mean you should. This isn't a political issue, or similar. This is a people issue. And the people have spoken for gay marriage in NH. This is the fact.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Surf_Dog

    A newspaper is about reporting the news, the who, where, and why. It is not about making up people's minds for them. Just to report the news. That's what's called journalism. A journalist is supposed to be impartial and just report the facts. As to belief and opinion, that's what the opinion page is for, and for all members of a community, both for and against.

    And print operations wonder why they are losing readership when they censer and otherwise take a biased view of current events. The internet is exploding due in large part to a more free access to information and more importantly to a more accepting audience.

    Newspapers are dying across North America, and they may be next!

    Offer better, balanced and unbiased reporting and perhaps their readership and thus their future will look better.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. zneiley

    I agree that the newspaper has a right to not publish the notices. That being said, I am in support of marriage of any individuals, gay or straight. The best thing that people can do to oppose the newspaper is to not buy their print and to not visit their website. If people are against their policies, then don't give them the business they don't deserve.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Got the announcement they wanted in NH

    The NH Union Leader newspaper is a conservative newspaper. That is common knowledge thruout the state. Anyone that knows this should not be surprised that they would not print this particular couple's announcement. I think this gay couple should be proud of their marriage and just got the announcement they were looking for. Congratulations!

    October 25, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafael

      Apparently you don't understand that "liberal" and "conservative" is understood to refer to their editorial function. Newspapers of integrity support a strict wall between news and editorials. This paper has no integrity and its reporting of news therefore cannot be trusted. Conservatives seem to have entirely abandoned this principle through their embrace of Fox. This example is no better.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Of course the paper is free to print what they want, just as I am free to judge the paper as anti-gay.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Observer

    Christians can select the Golden Rule to follow from the Bible or hatred in the Bible. Far too many hypocrites choose the latter.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. KevinD

    Technically, the newspaper is correct; they don't have to print the notices. And they are being consistent with their past stances, which you could at least admire as avoiding hypocrisy (as the editor noted). To make a big deal about this seems perhaps mountain/molehill situation, since there are so many better ways in this Web 2.0 age to publicize a marriage or similar social occasion. If so many people in NH support gay marriage, they will vote with their pocketbooks and the newspaper will go under. If the newspaper doesn't lose significant circulation, well, hmmm.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan

      I agree. The newspaper will change its' stances on what it wants to print if a decision causes sales to plummet or advertisers to cancel an ad spot.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. And who created you?

    It has nothing to do with hate, the Bible says love all people, it does not say you have to agree with them. I don't agree or like people with closed minds who think that anyone who does not agree with them must be stupid or hateful. I don't have to hate you or think you are stupid to think you are wrong.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
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