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. Gburton

    LR, you must be totally delirious. God has no legal standing in this country? ha, what total blasphemy. One day you are going to stand before the judgement seat of Christ with only heaven and hell as final destinations for all eternity. I'm serious; as I write this I pray for your soul and for your heart, that you would receive a wake up call from the Lord. I heard a message recently that really speaks to what you are saying and that is that man has now taken the Lord away from judgement and tried to place himself in the judgement seat to judge gods and see which one is right and wrong in his own wicked and delusional mind. One day all of these people will stand before God who will judge all. I pray for you now.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      When gay-bashing Christians bash fellow Christians for working on the Sabbath, eating shellfish, and getting divorced as much as they trash others, then they will actually have credibility instead of hypocrisy.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • peanutman

      Wow! you hit it right on the mark Gburton That gave me goosebumps

      October 26, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Allen Wollscheidt

    Sue !

    October 26, 2010 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • LAgay

      For WHAT? what would be the case?

      Greg and Aurelio was given the right by the state to get married, so, if they want, they can marry any time but that necessarily mean that they can shove their caprice down to anybody's throat.

      Like their's, the paper also has the right, w/c is to publish and NOT to publish anything especially when it's against their culture.

      October 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. d

    i support the paper and it's decision. i don't think they have an obligation to be unbiased...i do think that a newspaper is in a position to be a leader in the community and stand up for what they believe in whether or not it's politically correct.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rock God

    What "liberal media"?

    October 26, 2010 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Observer

    Anyone who ACTUALLY has studied history knows that many of our founding fathers were NOT Christians. In several cases they were Deists. Thomas Jefferson thought the Bible had so much nonsense in it that he wrote his own version.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lamasioux

    I care so little about this crap (but then again i did respond=o) what does it matter, in the end we are all worm food. The debate is freaking fun to watch though. On one side you have the moral leetness. On the other the -cram it down you throat (literally) gay rights nazis. I cant figure out which side is the underdog though. Fun to root for the underdog

    October 26, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. John

    Even though the newspaper states they are not "anti-gay" they are taking an anti-gay stance. Newspapers are to remain newtral, the same as the news. By not printing the anouncement, they are not remaining neutral.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. K

    CNN check your facts, if its a private business as long as I dont accept state funding I am allowed to kick people out if I dont want to serve them. Tough? yes. Fair? Also yes. If the paper doesn't want to print it, it should not be forced to do so!

    October 26, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. GayVeteran

    My God does not preach hate. All these so called "christians" spweing their hate should actually read the KJV Bible sometime. And the Bible is not ala-carte.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • annewandering

      Free speech means we are allowed to say what we want even if it is not popular with some people. No one is stopping the gay men from speaking their minds and other media from publishing it. Sounds like everyone got what they wanted to me.
      I am puzzled why they even went to a conservative paper in the first place. Baiting?

      October 26, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Metropl

      I hope that its baiting. This is the only way to expose these machines of hate. I saw this during and after civil rights and advertisement of hate embarrasses the perpetrators so that they change their ways. Public and community pressure is the best way to fight this recurring theme of exclusion.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
    • BDudek

      Your god? It seems not even christians can even agree on the teachings of christ. From fundamentalist to moderates, none can see eye to eye. So why should the non believer?

      October 26, 2010 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Christian in Canada

      I believe in the United States, the saying goes " In God we Trust." in Canada, it goes " He shall have dominion from sea to sea". The NKJV of the bible , God's holy word in both countries, says ' You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Case closed.

      October 26, 2010 at 5:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Philip

      I think you're absolutely right.
      By the Bible, it's still immoral.

      October 26, 2010 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
    • purpleponyspeaksout

      hey christian in canada (and the rest of you religious folk against Gay marriage)....how much of the rest of Leviticus to you adhere to? thats where the pick and choose comes in. You can't pick and choose what part of the bible you want to thump! besides, believe it or not, not everyone believes in God and therefore shouldn't be expected to live by "his word"!!

      October 26, 2010 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      well, apparently you don't believe the "God" or the Bible you read,now do you? and not agreeing with your lifestyle is not hating you, that is the whole point, you and your kind think everyone should greet what you do with open arms, we are all sinners, all I can say is , repent, come back to Yahweh, live for him ... come out of sin...

      October 26, 2010 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian in Ohio

      Yes, Christian in Canada. And the Bible also says you cant wear clothing with linen and wool mixed (Lev. 19:19), and if a little kid hits his mom he should be put to death (Ex 21:15), etc. Dont just pick and choose which Bible verses you'll adhere to!

      October 26, 2010 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
    • JoAn Ward

      Jude :7 , Eph 5:3 ,Gal:19 , 1Cor,6:9-11, Rom.1:24 , John:13:2 ,Rom,1:27,1Timothy1:8-10, 2Peter 2:6-8 ,3:3 ,Ezk.16:49 ,Isa.3:9

      October 26, 2010 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
    • cw

      @ GayVeteran

      Who said they hate you? No christian is to hate there brother or sister....no matter what the sin is. HOWEVER....in THE BIBLE...being gay is wrong...PERIOD!!!! God calls us to love the person...but hate the SIN. GOD also calls us to speak the truth to our brothers and sisters which means we are to let people know what is right and wrong according to THE BIBLE. God calls us to hate anything that isn't righteousness....GAY IS A SIN....PERIOD....GAY IS A CHOICE...PERIOD...God calls us to turn from SIN..."DIE TO SELF"...THAT MEANS TO PUT TO DEATH EARTHLY DESIRES...AND LIVE FOR HIM....AND LIVE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE.

      October 26, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • cw

      @ Purpleponyspeaksout

      If you read THE BIBLE OR ITS TEACHINGS....ALL OF IT IS APPLICABLE. Lets examine the old testiment...though...a lot of his was written to tell the people of how they were to sacrifice and cleanse themselves before worship. A LOT OF IT IS STILL APPLICABLE...SUCH AS THE SIN OF BEING GAY AND LIVING A GAY LIFESTYLE. I pray for you....b/c one day you will get to stand before GOD as we all will and you will get to explain why you didn't believe in God and his teachings...believe me....as it says in Revelation....ALL WILL BOW ON THEIR KNEES IN PRAISE. Its my hope you don't have to do that...b/c....you won't like the consequences.

      October 26, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • SaneCanadian

      Free speech means we are allowed to say what we want even if it is not popular with some people. No one is stopping the gay men from speaking their minds and other media from publishing it. Sounds like everyone got what they wanted to me."

      So tru Anne. It's like when blacks were insisting on using white washrooms

      October 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jman

    It's amazing that people say things like

    "your god has no legal standing in this country whatsoever."

    Funny. I thought this country was founded because our forefathers who were christians were tired of being persecuted for practicing christianity.

    Everyone has the freedome to believe what they want. But it appauls me just how much religious freedom has been taken away from Christians by atheists and others who hate god so much just because it offends them.

    Who needs god when you have Grey's Anatomy and X-Box

    October 26, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Emma the Grey

      Actually, our country was founded by people seeking religious freedom. How on earth did you miss that?

      October 26, 2010 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
    • tennessee

      jman, you have no conception of american history. read a lot more before you write anything more.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • China Blue

      Please enumerate the religious freedoms that have been taken away from you. Thank you.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Yup

      Jman – you really got that wrong (but I see that others have already tagged you on that). I actually got a kick out of the "how much religious freedom has been taken away from Christians" part. You can't possibly really believe that, do you? Christians aren't having any of their religious freedoms taken away. What has happened is that, thankfully, people have started pushing back when religions try to encroach on THEIR freedoms. I find it funny that you think that because christians can't have the right to push their beliefs on others that that somehow strips them of any freedoms. That makes absolutely no sense. And you are really missing the point of the statement you quoted, because the statement is completely accurate. Your god has absolutely no LEGAL standing in this country. The only mix god and the law have is that the law protects your right to worship any god (or no god) you want, however you want. After that, the law and god quickly part company. As it should be.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Midwestmatt

      Cite exactly ONE freedom taken away from Christians. Just ONE.

      And if you're going to dredge up the lost "right" to force prayer down my throat at school, you're more of an I'll informed martyr than I thought.

      Christians have been forced to stop cramming their religion and their "I'm not perfect, just forgiven" load of crap onto the general population and that's the extent of it. Lost rights? Run along, Beck's on.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      I don't think many of these people "hate" God. It's just that if you are Gay you can't believe in God. Or if you do, you would fear him because the actions of gays are against the teachings of God. You can't believe in God and act against God's word. But I believe he did give us free will. And that free can come with at a price.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      The freedoms you have been stripped of were the ones that hampered others freedoms.. Yet you continue to whine you want more and more... Thank goodness the people in this country finally realize what you are really about !

      October 26, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Xolo

      If everyone has a freedome where's mine?

      October 26, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Hangedman

      Actually, the idea that "people came here seeking religious freedom" is one more of the lies that we all were taught in school. Religious groups came here seeking to impose their own brand of religious totalitarianism. The Puritans in Massachusetts, the Baptists in Rhode Island, the Catholics in Delaware and MARYland, later on, the Mormons in Utah - they all wanted to use the laws to force their religion on people who didn't share it, and they will never stop trying.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
    • googleworkswoners

      Please google Deism and the Treaty of Tripoli before EVER quoting anything with the Founding Fathers ever again. It's ignorance like the one you've exemplified that make me wish I could pick and choose who gets to be called an American. Please stop further furthering the "dumb American" persona, and our gene pools.

      From Article XI of the Treaty:
      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

      October 26, 2010 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • jay

      you need to read your history. the founding fathers were christians, but they were also men of the enlightenment. read thomas jefferson's essays on the subject – this country was not in any way founded on christian principles. all of the founding fathers – all of them – attested to this in their writings. the idea that this is a "christian" nation is a conservative construct, and completely MADE UP.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • SpyderGirl


      First off, you are obviously not a Pennsylvanian because every 6th grader on has learned about the persecution of the Quakers and other non-Anglican religions and their attempts to make a new safe place for them here in the New World. As for the Mormons, they fled death mobs, again to find a place where they could safely practice their religion without being killed. If you read the history of what was happening to these groups in England prior to coming to the New World or the events in Nauvoo, Far West and Hauns Mill, then you would realize that it wasn't a need to enforce their brand of Christianity on others, it was about safety. The point of the First Amendment was to prevent one faith from becoming all powerful like the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church and to keep the government from making laws against another religion. (Course, that didn't stop the execution order in Missouri of all Mormons.)

      October 26, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Wow, jman got wrecked.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      WOW JMAN got schooled quite quickly. However, it will fall on deaf ears because this is the new parroting that they have learned. "Our Christian Rights are being taken away." No, not at all actually....

      October 26, 2010 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Cuadrose

      We don't hate God. We just cannot stand your purist speak which is so filled with unrealistic expectations of human beings that you guarantee they fail every time. Isn't there something in the Bible that says you are supposed to focus on the log in your eye?

      Stop interfering with out lives, stop trying to impose your teaching on others.....if we or they are interested we will ask you. You will probably say that it is your duty to convert others and what we say to that, is stop invading our personal space. It is a real turnoff. If we don't ask, we are not interested, do you get that. I cannot say in simpler terms.

      God isn't the problem......you people who impose your relationship with God on others are the problem. Just because you think we need to know doesn't mean we need to know or want to know. Do something about your dependent/codependency!

      October 26, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
    • H

      the founding fathers were deists dummy. Most of them were not christian.

      October 26, 2010 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian C

      Midwestmatt...I have a very simple example of a right taken way from Christians that is very obvious to me as a university student studying genetics and biotechnology. I cannot mention the idea of creationism without being attacked and ridiculed. Is this simply based upon the fact that science cannot prove creationism, science has failed to prove anything on how life started, the foremost thought by darwinist is that life piggy backed on crystals...what? I learned that in a university setting yet am mocked when I say God can create life and they think crystals gave piggy backs and somehow life started? By not being allowed to share the way I know life created in an academic setting I know rights have been taken away from Christians, and not just Christians all those who know there is a God over all.

      October 26, 2010 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Brian C, yes, and you'll get laughed at in a university if you say "diseases aren't caused by germs, they're really demons instead".

      And if you think ideas like the RNA world hypothesis of abiogenesis is "the foremost thought by darwinist is that life piggy backed on crystals" then you clearly are so poorly educated on the subject that ridicule is really the best way to approach you. You clearly don't care about the evidence if you're painting strawmen that are so horrifically bad.

      However, that's not a right being stripped from you. You can believe creationism all you want, the right isn't "you can believe what you want AND NOT HAVE TO FACE SCRUTINY FOR YOUR BELIEFS, it's "you can believe what you want". Period. You can believe, if you want, that the earth is 6000 years old, that the sun really orbits the earth, that the earth is really flat, that germs aren't the cause of disease, that alchemy is real, that astrology is real, you can believe all of that if you want... but that doesn't mean others are forced to treat silly beliefs with respect.

      Freedom of religion is not also "freedom from scrutiny or scorn", it's just "you can believe what you want". If you're going to be saying things that are so incredibly idiotic, like "abiogenesis is the theory that "life piggy backed on crystals", especially in a university, you're going to get laughed at, and you're going to fail any biology exam.

      October 26, 2010 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      To Jman: For an Atheist to hate god that would mean we acknowledge him to exist therefore making one not an Atheist but just an angry believer. We Atheists don't believe in god at all and by not believing in him we cannot be offended. Just thought I would clear that up for you.

      October 26, 2010 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Duper

      I'll agree with your point but leave my XBOX out of this.

      October 26, 2010 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
    • BuddyKowalsk

      @Midwestmatt OK here's 2 rights that have been taken away from xtians: The right to burn witches, and the right to keep slaves. So there !

      October 26, 2010 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Actually, the fact that we can no longer pray in school, school events, and other "public" activities because it offends or oppresses those without faith is one example of a reduced freedom. If it is removed because non-believer's tax dollars go to that school or facility, then why isn't it equally plausible to say that prayer in schools should remain because MY tax-dollars also go to that school. There is no more compromise when it comes to religion and public places/activities. It's simply removed under the mis-guided "freedom of religion" argument when in reality it is more like "freedom FROM religion".

      November 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Observer

    “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
    - George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, 10/20/1792

    October 26, 2010 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      8.As the contempt of the religion of a country by ridiculing any of its ceremonies, or affronting its ministers or votaries, has ever been deeply resented, you are to be particularly careful to restrain every officer from such imprudence and folly, and to punish every instance of it. On the other hand, as far as lies in your power, you are to protect and support the free exercise of religion of the country, and the undisturbed enjoyment of the rights of conscience in religious matters, with your utmost influence and authority. [George Washington, to Benedict Arnold, September 14, 1775 from The Washington papers edited by Saul Padover]

      November 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Washington was a "politician" and as such he is very careful to support both sides of the issue just enough without actually saying which side he is on. His letters take on a certain demeanor dependent on the recipient. What I'm saying is that it is very difficlut to take quotes from a persons "journal" without risking abuse of context.

      November 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hwon

    I don't know why people bring up the 1st Amendment. Not only is this clearly a service, but I spent a whole 30 secs to google the newspaper, go to the site, find wedding notices under the 'services" section, and found that it's a fill in the blank form that the newspaper presumably publishes word for word. So this isn't a question of free speech, but the right to refuse service.

    So let's do a little thought experiment. Could the newspaper refuse to do the service announcements for interracial marriages because they don't support it? How about Jewish weddings? The answer is no because it would be a clear violation of civil rights to discriminate and refuse service based on a class of people. There is no legitimate business interest for them to refuse the service.

    I smell lawsuit.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      The paper does not need to give anyone an explanation. It's their right not to print. What is it so hard for you to get that?

      October 26, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Hwon

      Why can't you understand that it's a publishing service that they charge people for? People fill in a precomposed form and then submit it for publication.

      As I said before consider the thought experiment. They can't refuse to print on the basis of race or religion because it violates Civil Rights and you should know this if took government in High School in the last 40-50 years. So you should know "It's their right not to print." is not an absolute statement and has limitations of being lawful with regard to Civil Rights. If someone provides a service they must do so equally.

      October 26, 2010 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Margot707

      "I smell lawsuit" That was my first thought. They offer a public service and especially since gay marriage is legal in their state, the paper has no legal grounds to deny publishing the announcement. Others have stated "why go to a conservative paper?" If this paper is the largest in the state, it's obviously the first place to be such a notice.

      October 26, 2010 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
    • SaneCanadian

      It's like if we were paying to post here and CNN decided Gay opinions would not be posted. Or Christian mythology was not to be posted or HEY......there may be something to this censorship thang.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. offkilterview

    @ GBurton, perhaps because all those things, are practices to keep the ego humble, to focus of the Senate and House on the fact they are not a power unto themselves. One needs not be a Christian, though I am, to see the value of those qualities in leadership.

    also Harvard College was founded as a liberal arts place of learning. I was infact originally called New College in 1636. It was renamed Harvard, after John Harvard, a secularist, gave them his entire fortune in his will.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. ME

    My first thought was that the paper should just publish the announcement, but after reading the paper's statement, it makes sense that they would not want to violate their stated viewpoints. Furthermore, it sounds like the couple specifically chose a conservative paper in order to make a fuss and get attention. That makes me wonder about their motivation–are they announcing their marriage or making a political statement? I have little sympathy for people who purposely chose a way to make trouble when they could have just gone to any other paper.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      Good point.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • bupkis

      Do you live in or near NH? NH is a small state both physically & population wise, and the Union Leader is really the only newspaper. (there is a MUCH smaller one out of the smaller city of Concord, and unless the couple actually lived in that city, there is no reason to expect anyone they knew would ever see the announcement)

      October 26, 2010 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Not ME

      Its called standing up for what you believe in and fighting injustices. I bet if you were alive in the late 1700's, you'd probably be saying, "I have little sympathy for people who purposely chose a way to make trouble when they could have just gone and paid their tea taxes and continued to be a colony of Great Britain."

      October 26, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • allen

      It is quite obvious that this "couple"is doing nothing more than causing trouble.They should have gone to the Cape in Mass. if all they wanted was recognition.

      October 26, 2010 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Margot707

      I'm sick of people like Deb saying they're sick of gays getting upset when people like Deb say they're sick of gays getting upset when people infringe on their civil rights.

      October 26, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. AndyTheGameInventor

    What I don't get is that this is a "news"paper and doesn't want to print news it doesn't agree with, as if somehow this will make the news not have happened.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
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