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. scotty501

    Its all about Deb!

    October 26, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. twocents

    Ok first of all I just have to say mr sanecanadian (and all the canadians that posted), you are canadian. Last I checked this story was about America (New Hampshire to be exact), and therefore it doesn't matter what you say or what you think whether it be for or against this whole story because your opinion doesn't mean a thing in this country. Second of all, I have no idea how this whole thing turned into a debate about religion because the original story had nothing to do with it. This all comes down to legal rights in the United States and New Hampshire. Gays have the right, in New Hampshire, to get married if they wish, and I would presume they did so without a problem. The paper also has the right to refuse to print and not to print what it wishes, a right which they exercised end of story (whether it be conservative or liberal, christian or atheist, or gay or straight). We, as americans, also have the right to freedom of speech (hence this entire post). So christians can try and convince atheists or vice versa whatever they want and gay supporters can try and convince those against gay marriage or vice versa whatever they want and everyone can complain about whatever they want all day. Most of these people have already made up their mind on how they feel about things and no matter what you say you most likely won't be able to change their mind. End of the day, everyone excercised their rights and nothing was done illegally whether you choose to agree with what the outcome was or not. So why can't we all just say welcome to America, and agree to disagree.

    October 26, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Renee

      Just because the story is about America the world needn't keep quite. We are are free to opine and judge you.

      Congratulations to the newlyweds!

      October 26, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Symera

    The Bible also says that eating pork and shrimp are an abomination – there goes happy hour ...

    Oh and don't forget that women are unclean for 33 days after giving birth to a boy and for 66 days after giving birth to a girl and that certain animals must be offered as a burnt offering and a sin offering for cleansing – anyone want to sacrifice a goat?

    Cripes – you *Christians* really take the cake – why don't you try reading the whole book for a change – better yet, take a real class in religious study – one that's being led by someone with a brain, not some moron with an internet ordination.

    October 26, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Patrick in Singapore

    I think it's just plain bad business! If I were an investor in the company that owned the newspaper I would be bothered by this. Whether or not the paper prints the announcement should be determined by market forces, i.e. If they are offering money to have the announcement printed, then print it!

    October 26, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dani

    The newspaper should have the right to choose what it publishes. I am glad they are standing up for what they believe in. Like they say, "stand for something or you'll fall for anything ."

    October 26, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joe Bartlet

    CNN says: "So they went (to) one of the largest papers in New Hampshire, where gay marriage is legal and generally accepted ... "
    It is the largest newspaper by far (unless you count supermarket shoppers). And why say gay marriage is "generally accepted" in NH? Maybe it should be, but polls show the state is evenly divided over the issue. That's sloppy research, CNN.

    October 26, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Adam

    Who is it going to hurt? No one. Seriously...think about it. If this were to be printed, guess what...you have the choice to read it or look right past it. It's just flat out rude to not print an announcement article for this devoted couple. What a slap in the face. Congrats to the couple. I wish you many years of marital bliss.

    October 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stephanie L. in IA

    Marriage is a commitment, a life commitment to someone, a promise that you will always be there for them no matter what life brings. I am shocked that a newspaper would sink to this level. It seems as if we have forgotten what this country was built on. The United States of America is based on freedom. Freedom to choose your religion, if any at all, freedom to work where you want, freedom to live where ever you choose, freedom of speech, and freedom to be with whoever you want to be with.
    “When did you find out you were straight?” “When did you tell your family that you were straight?” “You can be straight but I just don’t want to see it.” All these questions may be arguments that a gay person may ask you someday. How will you answer? “I was just born this way.” “My family loves me and my partner for who we are.” We are all humans, we are all Americans, and we all have the right to express ourselves. I believe that if a man and a woman can get married and have it published in a newspaper, to show their community that they are fully committed to one another then gay couples have this right too. When you meet someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with you want to tell the whole world. You want all of your friends and family to celebrate with you and not being able to have your picture published in a newspaper because the publishers are against it is very appalling. Our country has come a long ways but we clearly still have a long road ahead of us. It’s time to grow up America. We are all equal and we need to start acting this way.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jesus

    Dear Americans, After reading your posts here, all I can deduce is that you're a bunch of religious fanatics with no idea of your own history or human rights in general. You are an abomination. This entire country is a failure, clearly. I cannot wait for the rapture to take you to another place and leave us to pick up the pieces of the mess you've left. I really really hope it happens, because I can't live with you for another second.

    October 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ChRiStIaNsSuCk

    If Gay marriage does not affect you, why do you care?

    October 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      This issue is about forcing a privately run newspaper to print something it doesn't feel it wants to. Whatever their reason, they are a private business and as such, don't they have the right to refuse service? The "gay card" is the "race card" of the 21st century. If you don't get what you want...then it's "because I'm gay". Not everyone agrees with the lifestyle...I'm sorry...but that's life. It's as if gays expect everyone to just say "oh...ok...we'll give you everything you want". I don't hate gays..but I don't agree with the lifestyle. That doesn't make me a biggot (but that's what I'll be called because if you don't agree with the lifestyle then you must be some ignorant hill-billy), yet that's what I'll be called because it's the typical response to that viewpoint...like a child throwing a tantrum for not getting to ride the pony for the 10th time.

      November 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Knute

    The newspaper can rightly make the claim that such an announcement would be offensive to it's readership and thus they opt to not publish it. That is their right to do so.

    October 29, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. LAgay

    greg and aurelio have been given their rights by the state to get married, so why they couldn't let others have their's? why they keep on shoving their caprice down to the paper's throat?

    If they want, they can marry, BUT...they just can't take away the right of the paper to SAY NO.

    But anyway, they already get much attention that they craving for here. Wish they can sleep soundly now.

    October 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Exaclty my point...they have recieved their "right"...to marry. That doesn't, by default, extend to getting whatever they want. Forcing the paper to print the notice should be tollerated any more than if these two gentlemen were forced to not be able to tell anyone of their union. No "rights" have been oppressed here...just a "want" that was denied.

      November 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Virgil Sapperstein

    When the leaders(?) of a major "news"paper decide to use their outdated, ignorant bigotry as the filter through which they view and strain reality to decide which bits and parts of reality they acknowledge and which they ignore, it provides yet another good explanation of why newspapers are all but irrelevant any more. Shame on the Union-Ledger.

    October 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      This is just ignorant. Sorry...but the paper has "come out" and declared their stance. You may not agree with it...but to really expect a paper with such a position to give in just because you want them to is rediculous. So you result to name calling and labelling...very nice. Your post is nothing more than an immature tantrum because you're not getting what you want.

      I pose this question to you: What 'right' of these men is being violated here?

      I think if you really stop and take out any emotion from your position, you'll see that NO 'right' is being violated. If you don't like the paper's position...don't support it. If it's not a 'right's violation' you're concerned with...then I go back to the "tantrum throwing" position I mentioned before. They have a right to refuse service just like you have the right to throw your tantrum...end of story.

      November 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bobby

    My question is this? Why is it SO important for the paper to print out this notice? There are plenty of other means by which an announcement can be made. There is no "right" being violated here...NOONE has the "right" to have their notice placed in a privately run newspaper. Trying to force the issue makes this, now, an issue of someone wanting "special privilage" based on their lifestyle choices. I guess I should go to a gay activist news periodical and have the courts force them to print others' anti-gay ads or columns. People talk and talk about people of faith trying to force their way of life on others...seems to me (based on this article/blog) the "other side" is guilty of their own accusations.

    November 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 4just_us

    It all depends on the law. Do all private businesses have a right to refuse goods and services (discriminate) to anybody
    they want? Yes or no!!

    May 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
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