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. Hurp

    Good job America, way to hate when someone else is happy other than yourself.

    And to think, it's all because of religion. What a world we live in... 🙁

    October 25, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jersey Bob

      Not America...... just one right-wing newspaper. Let's stay realistic......

      October 25, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • David Wood

      The ultimate reason for anything at all to do with this country is "MONEY". If people stop paying advertising dollars to this paper – they will gladly change their mind. Until that time – they will continue to be bigots. Money changes everything. There is a lot of money in the gay community and that is what will eventually end this discrimination and un-equal treatment. The ones with the most money wins.

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

      last time I heard, newspapers are private companies and can print what they want in accordance with law. why this is news just shows CNN's liberal bias. whether or not gay marriage should be legal or not has nothing to do with it. give me some real news CNN. I guess you prefer the lightning rod issues though to attract attention.

      October 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ProudNH

      Hodes has nothing else to whine about? How about his ad which he claims to be a fiscal conservative. He would sell out his own mother. Shame on what appears to be the ultimate do anything for a vote kind of slime. Hang it up Hodes.

      October 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Look who's being intolerant! I want to marry my sister...what's wrong with that? We've outlawed bigamy...why? There's always a moral line drawn somewhere. It's not whether to draw a line. It's where. The newspaper is being condemned for being consistent in what they believe. That's called being non-hypocritical. And Heather says newspapers are to report news without bias...since when is any news source fully non biased? There's always a bias...but is what they say true? That's important.

      October 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nursehope

      Dave: You want to marry your sister? Seriously? That's waaay different than marrying a non-genetically linked person. Anyway...new is just that news as in newspaper...not opinion paper. Those comments are relegated to the "letters to the editor" section or editorial comment section. Simply report public statistics. Not too hard. Judgement does not enter in. duh.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Just remember: religion – and the good/evil that comes with it – has given you Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Without religion and its morals, someone bigger and badder than you would've already killed you and took your life possessions.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calvin

      Yeah for the newspaper!!!!!!

      October 25, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calvin

      There is no such thing as gay marriage; quit pretending!

      October 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • a

      they have every right to disagree with something they think is morally wrong. God bless them for standing up for the truth. Family and marriage. Sorry people, they will b blessed. Ppl need to repent.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • a

      this is a lie. They are trying to use love as an excuse to pull at ppls heart strings, but you can't do whatever you feel like, and who are we to 'deny them love' Love comes from God, there has to b order.Otherwise it would b anarchy. if you fell in love with someone else's husband it is still wrong, so this is not to judge anyone's wrong doing. but make no mistake it is WRONG. and we are getting to a point in this nation where that no longer matters. we will go under, keep taking the Christian principles from this Nation and we will b in BREAD lines, MARK my words young ppl. Repent.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafael

      Last I heard, newspapers had some integrity that separated their news delivery from their editorial opinion. Just shows the news content of the paper isn't worth anything.

      October 26, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Janice Kelble

    Knock it off Union Leader! It reminds me all too vividly of restaurants not allowing blacks to eat in their establishments. Where in the world is the harm? And who determined that you should be a judge?

    October 25, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • a

      its not the same thing and to do so compares blacks with those who are chosing an immoral lifestyle. I am an african american who still has been discriminated against, but this is not about color or hate(at least it shouldn't b) but about God, it is just as offensive to commit immorality regardless of the way it happens. But marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a women, so they can produce the blessing of offspring. According to my beliefs they don't have that RIGHT. They don't get over it. You can't reproduce. It's not right and only your conscience will tell you.I have every right to tell my children NO to something that i believe is wrong.peace

      October 25, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      Bringing in the restaurant not serving blacks is totally different. There was a law on the books that stated that blacks could not eat, drink, or ride buses with white people. Unfortunately, a restaurant can refuse service if it wants to. A store can ask a person to leave the store if that store wants to. A store, restaurant, or business invites it's customers to come in and they can uninvite said customer. This service that the Newspaper does is a free service but not for all.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Flex

    The paper should treat these two guys exactly as it treats everyone else. No exceptions!!! The religious zealots should stop carving out special niches for the gays, or they should have the balls to be subject to their brand of discrimination?

    Can we vote on christianity?

    October 25, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • roxanna mitchell

      I had a gay dad and I am also gay but my sister is not. You are born gay so if your child is not, this is not a issue that will make your child gay. But they need to know the real world and the facts. Look at how many children are comitting sucide at a high rate because they are not excepted. The world needs to know this is not a choosen life style but the way we just are. We are all children of God and were made out of his on image. They need to read up on the medical issues of how they are discovering that YES THERE ARE SOME OF US THAT ARE JUST BORN THIS WAY!!!! They need to open their eyes because if one of their children were born gay would they want to find their child dead because of their ignorn ways? We should all except each other for the way we are. It's okay to go on about who all died in the war and make this such a big issue. So if their child read in the newspaper about the war would they rush out and join the military? i don't think so! Wake up world and see the true facts of life. So this is totally stupid that your child would be gay if they read the newspaper about a gay marriage. We should all except us for who we are. NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Roxanna Mitchell

      October 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • msj0820

      Fortunately – or unfortunately – the newspaper, and magazines as well, have full editorial control over what they choose to print – news, information, advertising, etc. It's not like health care is going to be – you don't have to buy it.
      And before you get on any high horse – I am not anti gay – just anti steam roller and for freedom of opinion. You have the right to start your own newspaper and print only gay wedding notices –

      October 25, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      A Wedding announcement is privilege and not a right.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • rafael

      msj, do you understand that editorial pages are separate from news pages, and that editorial opinions are labeled as such? As soon as a paper starts to editorialize outside the editorial page, its news delivery loses credibility.

      October 26, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. kellen

    jerks. Hopefully they'll change their minds.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Susan

    I am an openly lesbian progressive, left leaner. That said though, I would agree that a privately held newspaper has the right to chose not to run the announcement; however, they cannot preface their statement with "while we are not anti-gay...". No sir, that's decidedly an anti-gay act.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jersey Bob

      Excellent comment, Suz. Captured both important elements of the article: newspaper's option to print or not.... and the brilliant statement about not being anti-gay. Now if only there could be some economic repercussions for not printing......

      October 25, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • chewie

      Just a quick question and comment. What is the difference between a "progressive" lesbian and a regular lesbian? Also I think the Newspaper can print what they want;;; refer to NPR Radio for a point of reference.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Good call Susan. You are absolutely right.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • needNewGov

      Finally someone with a brain. Thank you Suz.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tapati

      @Chewie–lesbians, like any other folks, can be conservative or progressive in terms of political views. 🙂

      October 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • S.M.

      I almost agree with you. If the paper out of the goodness of their hearts is announcing marriages for free because they want to spread the news then they have the right to print what they wish. Which according to their website if you send it in with certain requirements it may be free. So in that instance I'm fine with it. If however, they are charging customers to print their wedding announcements which may be done if the person wants special full color and/or keepsake announcements then it's basically a paid service and should fall under the same rules as any other business that offers services to the public. Since New Hamphires laws allow for gay marriage they should have no right to refuse if the couple wanted to do a paid wedding announcement. In my oppinion, to deny them that paid service that's offered to the public amounts to the exact same thing as a restaurant not letting a black or jew eat there because of the beleifs held by the business.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      I don't agree. If there are laws against descrimination, then you can't just decide yourself.
      People cannot decide they don't want to sell a house to a black person because they are black
      This newspaper may be breaking the law.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jared

    Regardless of if you agree with it or not, a newspaper does have the right to print what it wants to. The government should not be getting involved in what publications can and cannot print.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • CN

      did anyone say they should?

      government officials have a right to voice their opinion, too. if they think it sucks, they get to say so.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • S.M.

      You're right as far as articles and general content is concerned. The issue I see is that the paper offers to do paid announcements. If they are offering a paid service to customers then at that point they are no longer printing based on their beliefs they're printing as a paid service. Meaning they should have no right to refuse anyone as long as they have the money to pay. At that point it's no different then going to Kinko's and having them refuse to make copies of your wedding announcement because of their beliefs... (All this ofcourse, is provided that the couple attempted to do a paid announcement and not just the freebie version the paper offers, but it doesn't say.)

      October 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      I see wedding announcement as any other news articles. If the government interferes with the newspaper, the government is going against freedom of the press.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kathy

    I am a Southern Baptist Texan. About 5 years ago my 16 y/o daughter came home from school asking me, "What's the big deal mom, why don't people want gay people to get married?" I gave her the truth as I have always known it, "Christians believe that marriage was given by God to be shared between a man and a woman." She innocently asked, "Then why do we let people who don't believe in God get married?"
    I didn't have the answer. I just said, "I guess you're right. That doesn't make sense."
    Our seperation of church and state means that our religious views do not dictate civil laws and vice versa.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • shiny2009

      Very well put. Your daughter's logic is well beyond her 16 years.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Chocobro


      Your daughter's got a good mind for her age, great to hear

      October 25, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • critter

      Its nice to see a mother acutally listen to there child other than try to "ignore it" Many young people i am 23 years old i see nothing wrong with two men or two women getting married. under the same contusion they got there rights. but now when it comes to equal and fair rights.... its not there. its a shame we still got these type of people.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • CN

      i was listening to an atheist giving a lecture on youtube. one of his points is that the stories of the bible are just that, (stories) is that children almost immediately are able to identify them as non-factual.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike Hott

    Advertisers, start pulling your ads until the morons who run the paper get on their knees and appologize and start running ALL gay announcements for FREE!!! and start a PRO-GAY section.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • chewie

      I think advertising should pick up. Finally someone that will take a stan on wht they believe and we should support them

      October 25, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • mikeL

      As long as they also create a PRO-Marry your Pet section.

      October 26, 2010 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |

    Regardless on how you feel about the news your job is to print no matter how you feel you are taking it personal who are you to judge someone else's life. Don't hate.Who is it going to kill if you print the announcement of two loving people.STOP THE HATE OPEN YOU EYES AND HEART TO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Alto

    Sadly, this is just one more case of discriminatory practices being condoned. Personally, I'd call several of the newspapers advertisers and file complaints with them about advertising in a published media that harbors such antiquated and discriminatory beliefs.

    October 25, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • chewie

      Please check with NPR

      October 25, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • chewie

      Please check with NPR Radio

      October 25, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • NEC

      More importantly check Faux news for that type of picking and choosing what it airs.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • SusanS

      Right, like CNN and the other networks don't "pick and choose" what they cover? Oh sure, they pick and choose....and ignore serious issues when they negatively affect left-leaning ideologies. So CNN shouldn't have the right to choose what they cover?

      October 25, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. phil

    I wish you people would stop blaming religion for anti-gay sentiment.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      I with religion would stop being anti-gay.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Farhibide

      I hope this is a joke. Religion IS the reason there is anti-gay sentiment.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • critter

      the only reason for that is many people who are against gay use there religion and bible view.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Religion is to be blamed for anti-gay sentiment because people only discriminate against LGBT people for religious reasons. There are no legitimate secular reasons to discriminate against LGBT people. So yes, religion is to blame.

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

      Rob: Don't paint all religious-minded people with the same brush. Pro-LGBT people of faith do exist and only now is their voice starting to emerge. Unfortunately, it's hard to be heard over the din of the fundamentalist anti-gay crowd.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Clyde E. Burgoon-Clark

      I don't see many ATHEISTS advocating the KILLING of gays, unlike konservative kristianist krazies (KKK).

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

      people will stop blaming religion for hating on gays when religion stops telling people that gays will burn in hell. or do you deny that is the tenet of your faith? if you are roman catholic, do you deny that is the stance of the pope? if you disagree with him, by what right do you name him a heretic?

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

      Really? So where does anti-gay sentiment spring from then....? Do tell.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Anne

    Good for the NH Union Leader to be consistent with their beliefs. They are a conservative paper and they are a political paper. Their advertisers already know this about them. They are also not the only newspaper in the state of NH. Freedom of the Press includes the freedom to NOT print.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Exactly !

      October 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lacey

      Freedom of the press wasn't designed for the PAPERS. It was designed for the PEOPLE.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Susan

    They have the right legally to marry. The paper has the right to decide what it will print. That's the way it is and those rights have been bought and paid for with blood. Don't be so quick to take them away. Someday it will come back on you.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • CN

      did someone say take them away? all i see people doing is the AMERICAN thing to do–if you don't like it, exercise your own free speech rights to complain about it. that's all that happened with prop 8. it got passed, and LGBT used their first amendment RIGHTS to protest it and change it. but if all you get your news from is fox, by all means, believe what you wish.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. haarkonen

    although i disagree with what they've done, the paper can choose to print – or not to print – whatever they choose. i'm sure they've denied advertising over the years because of their stance, and that is their prerogative. it is also their advertisers' prerogative to pull out of this paper, which i hope they will do.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      This sums it up:

      "There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press."

      Mark Twain

      October 27, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LisaH

    The newspaper certainly has the right to decide what it will and won't print. I do, however, think the Union Leader should be entirely consistent and refuse to publish stories on other actions they don't support, such as robbery, murder...oops! No paper!

    October 25, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • haarkonen

      surely you can recognize the difference between news and advertising or announcements? i disagree with what they're doing but they have a right to print what they want.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • LisaH

      haarkonen, I said I agree they have the right not to print the announcements. I simply think it's ironic.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
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