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. Michael

    The paper has the same right to oppose ideas as gays have to propose new ideas.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. bapman

    I'm holding out for legalized polygamy

    October 26, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. vegas

    I think they should print it. But that does not mean they should HAVE to. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech should apply whether their view is popular or not. We need to remember that in this country we have the freedoms (at least for now) to say or write what we want. That includes the right to NOT say or write what we want. If the people of NH don't like the paper's policy; boycott it. Don't buy it. Place ads in other paper's.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. peanutman

    From reading some, of these comments about the Newspaper agency should print there announcements, this country is heading towards being a Socialist state, you people want the goverment to control everything, The newspaper has every right to say NO what part of No dont you people understand. Just like California voted against Gay Marriage and you people had a hissy fit over it. Get a life, NO MEANS NO Someday you will be judged.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. keeth in cali

    Duh, the newspaper can print what it wants.

    The "either/or" question at the end of this article is irresponsible. Should the paper print gay marriage announcements? Yes, of course. Does the newspaper have the right to print what it wants? Same answer: Yes, of course. Both are correct, and yet CNN would have you believe you must choose one or the other. Congrats, CNN, you're stooping to shallow punditry, and Fox News would be so very proud.

    The paper can print what it wants, and the people of NH can choose not to buy that paper and not to read it online (thereby not supporting its advertisers who give their money to the paper).

    October 26, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. EM

    Ladies and gentlemen, don't ever think that a newspaper is there to give you news. A newspaper is a PRIVATE ENTERPRISE. It exists to make money by selling advertising. If some news happens to get out into society as a by-product of that, that's nice. But it's not why newspapers exist.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Observer

    The newspaper is free to publish whatever they want. Just like FOX News is free to announce that Los Angeles is spending one billion dollars so that 10,000 policemen can fly around in jetpacks on their backs.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Amanda

    I find it interesting that the gay couple went to the most conservative paper. Why didn't they go to a liberal paper? Why do they have to try and make it an issue and shove it down other peoples throats. I think they picked the conservative paper to try to make an issue. Unless they are stupid, they knew what the stand of the paper was.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • d

      i'm sure that they are being coached by some gay advocacy group and there will be a law suit soon filed by the group on behalf of the gay couple.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Zac Schneider

    Well, as the newspaper does not HAVE to print anything, and it has the right to print whatever it wants, no. I do NOT believe it should be forced to put out announcements of gay marriage notices. However, I do disapprove when they say they will not. The flipside of freedom of speech and press is that whatever you say, someone can argue with it. And I most certainly do not like this discrimination. However much I dislike it, they are certainly allowed to do it. I will defend their right to print whatever they like, even if I hate what it is that they print (or, in this case, hate that they will NOT print something).

    October 26, 2010 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. John

    It has adverse effects not only upon the parties thereto but upon their progeny.
    Laws against it have been in effect in this country since before our national independence and in this state since our first legislative session.
    It necessarily involves the degradation of conventional marriage.
    they cannot possibly have any progeny, . . . and such a fact sufficiently justifies those laws which forbid their marriages.
    It runs counter to God's plan.

    Sound familiar to anyone? I'm sure they do. They are all arguments against interracial marriage. Any of you people who are using these arguments against gay marriage should think about how these justifications have been used against others in the past.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      God's plan apparently is that the more religious you are, the less God wants you to get married. Look at Jesus, the Disciples. the pope, priests, and nuns.

      October 26, 2010 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Gezellig

    My question is, is the marriage announcement a commercial component or a matter of being a paper of public record; or is it an editorial or news story? If they are a paper of public record, perhaps refusing to print marriage records for gay couples would be as inappropriate as refusing to print public legal or tax notices for gay people. If marriage records are a commercial endeavor, perhaps they should face the same consequences were they to refuse to print marriage notices of interracial couples. If marriages notices are simply news items or editorial commentary, than the first amendment should apply.

    October 26, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      That is a good point – if they print all the marriage licenses granted by the county court, and then redact those of gay couples, I think that's a problem – though journalisticly, not legally, since they claim to be providing an abstract of public records but are not actually fulfilling that self-imposed responsibility. I don't think that was the case here – sounds like the couple was just going to place a paid announcement – which IMO, the paper is free to print or not according to their own standards – let the free market police their policies.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    Well, the freedom of the newspaper to decide for itself what it will print and what it will not is no less than the freedom we all have to say what we wish. Of course, both carry consequences, and people are equally free to not subscribe, advertise, contract with or otherwise do business with the paper. Disagreeing with gay marriage does not mean you hate gay people. Being a little apprehensive of people in Muslim garb on airplanes does not mean you hate Muslims. Gay is NOT the "new Black." Yet another example of liberals loving free speech... as long as you agree with them. The lovely thing is that the free market is the best check. Since the beginning of time people and businesses have had to adapt to changing social conditions or wind up without customers. Did people really think this was going to be like throwing a switch?

    October 26, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Gburton

    Krys, you are just making up your own religion about what is right and wrong. Where do you think morality comes from? It comes from God and not just any God, but the God of the Bible, our Creator. When we redefine what is right and wrong we are straying from Scriptures and doing exactly what Satan wants. Also, this is prophetic because it does say in the last days that people will call wicked good and that which is good will becalled evil.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. peanutman

    "The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation."
    — Treaty of Tripoli (1797), carried unanimously by the Senate with many members who were founders of the U.S. and signed into law by President John Adams

    If thats the case then God has lifted his hand of protection on this country, God have mercy on us.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. rizz nizz

    reading these comments I see some people saying "Leave them alone, they do nothing to harm you." then several comments later "grow up and realize there is no God the sooner you come to my dark side the better." Let them keep talking folks they will hang themselves with their own idealogy and words. Fortunately it's a self fixing problem since they can't breed.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
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