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. justaguy

    Let's keep in mind that being pro-marriage does not mean one is anti-gay. I recognize that's a distinction the gay folks don't like to make but it is there nonetheless. Supporting traditional marriage (between a man and a women) does not make one a hateful, discriminatory hypocrite as so many would like us to believe.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mediabiz

      Hear, hear!

      October 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason in Phx

      Nonetheless, you DO support restricting the rights of a huge group of people just to protect your precious so-called "god-given" marriage. Does it make you feel better to tell yourself that you aren't anti-gay?

      October 25, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • danny

      just because you have been conditioned and programed to believe something.. not an original thought, but something you have adopted to believe.. does not give you the right to hate and discriminate.. while your religion tells you somehow that contrary to teachings of love and tolerance you can justify hatred.. this not religion.. it is politics in the guise of religion.. massive deluded hypocrites.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ACinRC

    I stand in full support of my LGBT friends. I do, however, have to agree with those who say that this is a textbook case of freedom of the press under the First Amendment. Where a newspaper is concerned, the best way for their audience's opinion to be known is for that audience to vote with its dollars: cancel subscriptions and advertisements, letting the paper know why you're doing it. It sounds very quaint and grass-roots, but the war of the wallet can be quite effective.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. phil

    @neednewgov....AiDS is the only reason I avoid gays. and stop calling me a christian. I didn't call you a sodomite did I?

    October 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Will

    its not a freedom of the press issue if they charge to include notices, it then becomes descriminatory to deny someone willing to pay for a notice for something that is legal under the state law

    October 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cw

    To all,

    Anyone who supports the "its okay to be gay" is wrong!!!! All I have to say is "THE BIBLE" states that GOD...Whom a lot of people have turned their backs on...have forgot...said that he created "ADAM AND EVE" NOT ADAM AND STEVE. GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR MEN TO MARRY MEN...AND WOMEN TO MARRY WOMEN!!!! Being GAY IS A CHOICE.....My prayer is for all to humble themselfs....repent...."die to self"...as it states in THE BIBLE....and CHOSE TO walk by GOD'S STANDARDS. If you are follower of Christ you have to love everyone....period....BUT IT SAYS WE ARE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH...=LOVE THE PERSON....NOT THE SIN....WHICH MEANS YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH TO THEM.

    Also @ Kathy

    The answer that you should have said to your daughter is that we in society....in the world we have legislated the freedom to do what we want.....so in essence if you DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE IN GOD. Then the states are given the right by our goverment to recognize people who are married. Just because the people...."A man and a women"....don't believe in God doesn't mean that God didn't allow it....it does say in THE BIBLE to not be unequally yoked...so it is addressed but GOD further states we are to all follow his design and ways....if someone does marry an unbeliever the believer is to "win the unbeliever over"...by the way they live their lives for GOD. If both don't believe...The Lord our God does use the Holy spirit to try to the both of them over so that not only will their married be reborn but their lives as well.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chocobro

      >ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE

      Way to watch New Christine the other day. Good episode still but cmon.

      See, the reason you are wrong, is because there is no god and no holy book. It's just a book. And a bad one at that.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • ACinRC

      CW: Please don't try to speak for God. He had Jesus for that, and he was so much better at it. Considering that Jesus' commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself, I'd say that haters and self-proclaimed judges like yourself seem to be on the side of error.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • cw

      @ Chocobro,

      Yeah....maybe...you don't know GOD...hope you change your life and learn to follow GOD. Believe me....you may think THE BIBLE is a bad book....hope you change and ask for forgiveness...repent....and live according to GOD'S WAYS. If you don't...I promise....you will get the chance to stand before him one day....and explain why you thought his book was a bad one....Remember....Jesus said while hanging on the cross...."forgive them for they know not what they do". Its your choice....to follow...go to heaven...not follow...and go to hell.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • causeitsallnormal

      The time is coming soon don't worry they'll see soon.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • cw

      @ ACinRC

      Yes...your right we are to love each other....NOT LOVE THE SIN THAT PEOPLE COMMIT....PERIOD. As you state we are to love each other....God loves everyone....BUT....we are to follow what he says.....BEING GAY IS WRONG!!!! Look at the old testiment....or the New.....In the Old he condemed....GAY BEHAVIOR. In the new testiment....he never says anything about Gay marriage being okay....BUT....God did speak of a marriage between man and woman and how we are to live in our marriages. GOD NEVER ADDRESS IT B/C HE NEVER NEVER INTENDED GAY MARRIAGE TO HAPPEN. We just like a lot of people have forsaken what THE BIBLE says...and trust me....GOD WILL BE THE JUDGE...BUT....HE DID COMMAND THAT ALL CHRISTIANS SPEAK THE TRUTH(GOD'S PERFECT WORD)....BEING GAY IS A CHOICE....TURN FROM SIN INTO GOD HE WILL CHANGE YOU.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kg203

      Can God do something about your egregious overuse of the ellipsis and caps lock? I think I would take you and your comments seriously if you weren't beating the poor punctuation to death, and misspelling silly words, like "themselfs." As it is, your comments appear to be written by a 13 year old, and therefore are difficult to seriously consider in this debate.

      October 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • danny

      i do not believe in your god yours laws your sin or any other crap you are selling.. it is all to comfort yourself from fear and death.. you are the inbalance here.. not gay people.. they follow their nature.. you follow hat you have been told, and what you are told IS A LIE! awake from your slumber and SEE!

      October 25, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. phil

    I support the dictionary definition of the word " marriage "... where would we be without the dictionary?

    October 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Will

    CW, i couldn't give two sh!ts what your god says, he's not my god and i refuse to live by your gods rules

    October 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • cw

      @ Will

      I will certainly pray for you. You may not believe....you have the choice. My hope is that you will come to know GOD. He is the GREAT "I AM"....you may not care now...what he says...or his rules...but one day...all will stand in awe....and all with kneel before him. See Revelation.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • causeitsallnormal

      Because it's convenient not to have rules. Just do whatever you please.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSL

      Nice. However, a time will come that one way or another you will care about what our God says. Unfortunately it sounds like you won't like what He will have to say to you.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason in Phx

      It's ok Will. I'll be right there with you, and if we must go to hell (which I doubt we will), will ride in the hand-basket right beside you!!!!

      October 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikeL

      After all, this is the mindset of the Pharoah back during the Exodus, and look what it got him 🙂

      October 26, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. Wild Hurricane

    Gay's don't have a life. They imagine there is some gift that they have by being gay. This gives their meaningless life meaning. They feel that publicity is acceptance, as if that will absolve them.
    This gives them false sense of worth.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • haha what

      Do you even know what being gay means?

      Instead of sticking their pen­is in a pus­sy, they stick it in a but­thole. That's it. It's just the gender of the person they are with.

      And they are happy. Far happier than being anything they aren't.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marco

      I do indeed have a wonderful life. Sure, it's not as fulfilling as yours leaving ignorant, bigoted comments on the internet, but...

      October 25, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Justin McIsaac

    The Union Leader has always been a comfort to the more bigoted, irrational citizens of NH. They are just serving their base.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mel

    As long as it's a privately owned paper and as long as they do not charge for wedding announcements, they can accept or deny any they choose to. However, if they charge, then it could be considered denying a service which legally could put it under rules similar to diner owners refusing to serve certain people, even though they had the ability and willingness to pay.
    Generally speaking, freedom of the press is stretched very thin here. Typically, that freedom is to allow the paper to print any opinions or news it wants and typically doesn't cover things like weddings and obits. However, most papers consider that a "community service" because smaller papers do it for free and make no profit on it...much like church and business news...and community service pieces are totally at the option of the publisher.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • S.M.

      That's pretty much what I thought Free VS Paid announcements. They have the right to print any opinions, articles etc that they want but if they offer paid services to customers then they have no right to descriminate. Sooo I looked at their website and it states that they have both Free and Paid versions. So if this couple attempted to do a paid version I agree that the paper was completely wrong and should be slapped with a lawsuite for descrimination. If all they did was try for a free version then I think they're sadly out of luck.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. David in Houston

    I have no doubt these same people would have thought it was hypocritical to support interracial marriage 50 years ago. Throughout all of history marriage had always been between one man and one woman OF THE SAME RACE. So why would they support a change to such a cherished tradition.

    Bigotry is bigotry... only the target has changed. But the result is the same thing. Demonizing people that are different than you. The people running this newspaper are one step away from the likes of the KKK.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • msj0820

      David – actually – the old Testament has many stories of interracial marriage – Jews married out of the Jewish race many times – it was always a man and a woman (or women) but they were not always of the same race.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Wild Hurricane

    Life is just a fantasy. Can you live a fantasy life? Keep (sic) dreaming. *cough*

    October 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. phil

    There has never been a corporate fascist regime that didn't abuse gays. Ours is no different. By allowing states to make marijuanna and gay "marriage" legal, the federal gov. is just luring them out into the open and giving them a false sense of security. Because sooner than later the fed gov will turn on these two groups.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tapati

      So we should go ahead and jump back in the closet and turn against ourselves because of some theoretical oppression of the future? We were "turned on" by our own government until we stood up for ourselves and decided not to take it any more.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim Brieske

    The newspaper owners have the right to put in print whatever they choose because they are the business of selling newspapers. I rarely ever hear, in the news, about people complaining of certain brand names not being made available to purchase at stores.
    This is the same complaint being made now but I have replaced newspaper words being purchased.
    jim

    October 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brian

    I would hope that the gay community and it's supporters would boycot this paper and also boycot the advertisers who support this paper! talk is cheap,hit them where it hurts in the wallet.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
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