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. HarvardLaw92

    Nor should it, as a private organization, be required to. That said, people are free to vote with their feet (and their dollars) if they disagree with the paper's exclusionary policies.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. davyjones1234

    Yippee, a newspaper has exercised freedom of choice. Outstanding.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Doug

    How arrogant of that paper to decide not to print someones marriage date.. Stop buying their paper and I bet they would change that tune with a quickness !!!

    October 26, 2010 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      I totally agree with the paper, they stand up for what is right, some thing others need to do instead of following the masses!

      October 26, 2010 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. what is going on?


    October 26, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kay

    I would not be surprised to learn that these guys already knew the paper wouldn't publish it, and knew CNN would make a story out of it.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
    • bupkis

      As I stated above, the Union Leader is the only credible paper, unless they were satisfied with announcing through the Podunk Daily Bugle.

      October 26, 2010 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. Deb

    It seems like gay marriage is being shoved down people's throats that don't agree with it. I don't even mind if gay people get married, I just don't want to be attacked for having a different viewpoint. It's sad this paper gets this backlash for chosing not to publish the marriage announcement.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Iagree

      I agree 100%

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

      I don't know what you're talking about. All they wanted to do was publish their marriage - something straight couples take for granted. No one's telling them they can't do it. Face it - you hate gay people. And SO WHAT? Your feelings don't matter.

      October 26, 2010 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. lawstudent100

    the paper can print, or choose to NOT print, whatever it wants. gay marriage is still not legal in the united states, even if new hampshire has decided to defy federalism for the moment.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. S.Colbert

    The only thing I think should be different for gay couples is that they shouldn't have to pay school tax, and should not recieve any benefits meant for couples who breed. Problem solved.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. scott

    As a privately funded business they have the right to censor whatever content they wish to censor. As a matter of doing what is right and not being d**cheBags the newspaper should, of course, allow these couples to publish their wedding anouncements. They are however, allowed to indulge in whatever market practices they choose as an american business that is privately funded. Of course, you, as a consumer, have the right to let them know how much of your money that private funding was made of by not buying that paper or going to its website anymore. Free speech abound on both sides, don't be quiet-they aren't.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. ConservativeCanuck

    Glad to see that there are still some conservative folks south of the border. The paper's editors are to be commended for maintaining their principles.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Yes, principles of bigotry, hatred, and ignorance. That'll show 'em!

      October 26, 2010 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. benny

    the couple should have been smarter. dont they realize not everybody is gung ho and supportive about destroying the traditional family unit? and when someone tells them they wont support them they cry about it..deal with it people, crap happens everyday! they should have stuck with a paper that agrees with their values, I am sure there are some. its like going to an abortion clinic and asking them to run an ad that is anti abortion...go figure...

    October 26, 2010 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • thatguy

      Please explain how they are "destroying the traditional family unit..."

      October 26, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. John

    Common folks, get real! The Union Leader is the most Ultra-Conservative Anti-Gay newspaper in the U.S. If they really had their way, I doubt they'd even run stories on anybody but "white," "Christians!"

    October 26, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. DK

    the paper has a legal right not to print. afterall, it's the strategic freedom in this country that has made it so great. However, is having the legal right to press provide a license to defame or strip a person of their human given fairness? Is it ok to segregate a segment of humanity simply because you have the right to do so?

    October 26, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |

    I am not a religious person. Marriage is between a man and a woman only. I agree with the paper not wanting to print anything that it feels is not morally correct.

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

      Is ATHEIST MARRIAGE "morally correct"? They publish those all the time.

      October 26, 2010 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Phillip

    Christians take the Gospel to people they judge need it most. Gay couples try to promote their agenda too. So what? If the only way a gay lifestyle can gain legitimacy is to be picked on, there's no shortage of people to provide that experience. What's irritating is cases like this where they go far out of their way to get "picked on" rather than do something constructive. A wedding announcement is not a right, it's a courtesy. In the age of the Internet, trying to make a federal case out of newspaper announcement is like complaining that buggy whip manufacturers won't hire gays. This kind of approach damages the gay rights agenda. The civil rights movement worked because reasonable people saw a whole class of people who could not march down a street without being physically attacked. A church announcment? Please. More people would support gay rights if this were kept in mind.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
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