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. lance corporal

    with newspapers going under all over the country you'd have to be real committed to your hate to refuse business and risk the backlash when your hate becomes public, well this is america and being hateful isn't illegal. thankfully it's also not illegal for advertisers and subscribers to realize they do not want to support that small mindedness, the newspaper chose to inject ugliness in to these peoples happy time, what goes around comes around and they can expect some ugly to come right back at them

    October 25, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. phil

    @critter....no, we use our health concerns as reasons to avoid gays. If you are a gay male, you are 400 times more likely to be carrying the virus. So since I don't want AIDS, leave me and my family alone already.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • critter

      well speaking of that phill that how they got people of gay not to speak. so if you aids or anything like that. you be "gay" but we all know that a lie. its time for this conutry to treat people euqal gays,muslims, and any other type of people. under the law of this land its no question. now the question is who is strong enough to do it? I am not gay but i meet gay people who was a nice guy, and one of my friends/family members. who is also gay.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      What are you doing with your family that causes HIV to spread? There are laws against that kind of stuff.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Clyde E. Burgoon-Clark

      AIDS can ONLY be transmitted by exchange of bodily fluids or sharing of "dirty" needles. So ... unless you plan on having s*x with an HIV-positive person, or sharing a needle with him/her, you have nothing to worry about. The AIDS virus is relatively difficult to transmit ... it cannot live outside the body at a temperature less than 98.6 F. for more than a few minutes. So you're not going to get it off a toilet seat or a door knob. I'm HIV-positive; my partner of 36 years is HIV-negative; we practice safer s*x; end of story.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason in Phx

      Phil, you are a sick and dangerous person. I hope you don't have children, because you are seriously damaging their minds with your brainwashing dogma.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. phil

    If you are more likely to have the flu, I am more likely to avoid you. ditto and especially in case of AIDS

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

      @phil – I can catch the flu from you when standing in line at the grocery store or using an ATM after you do. AIDS doesn't work that way – never has. The only way you could catch AIDS from me is by exchanging bodily fluids, which means -unless you are hiding something- that you won't catch AIDS from being around gay people.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lance corporal

    they have opted out of being the community's published record which is traditionally a newspapers role, they have diminished their function in the community, whats next? refusing to publish notice of the opening of a drug rehab clinic because they disagree with the use of funds? or anything else they they disagree with politically?? a newspaper has a job in the community and they are refusing to do their job – fire them!

    October 25, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. dion

    Stop comparing the struggles that blacks went through with being gay.I believe gay people should not be treated differently but it can never compare to the discrimination that blacks have faced throughout hundreds of years .

    October 25, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      No it can't compare, just look at how gays are treated in Africa.

      October 25, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Clyde E. Burgoon-Clark

      The "CHURCH" has been executing gays for 2,000 years! Let's not fall into the "my oppression is worse than your oppression" trap. That said, African-American denial and the black churches' unwavering anti-gay stance (with a precious few exceptions) ARE responsible for the spread of AIDS in the African-American community, especially from bis*xual males "on the down low" (who don't consider themselves gay; they think that somehow protects them from AIDS, so they don't practice safer s*x) to straight African-American females, currently the fastest-growing HIV-positive population.

      October 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • danny

      hate is hate.. the degree is inmaterial.. and i assureyou.. the suffering of gay people on this planet due to the unevolved mind of man is comparable to any group that ever existed...down with all haters.. esp to hose think that have a right to hate.. sad

      October 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rob

    I think the newspaper is entirely within their first amendment rights to publish or not publish whatever they please. Freedom of the press is an absolutely necessary freedom if we want to protect democracy.

    That being said, they're still complete idiots for not publishing the wedding announcement. These conservative morons say they're "pro-family" and "pro-marriage". Refusing to publish the announcement of a marriage doesn't seem very pro-family or pro-marriage to me.

    If two consenting adults want to get married, and it's not hurting anyone, then so be it. What kind of inhuman hater do you have to be to deny the joyous occasion of two people pledging their love for one another?

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

    The paper should have the right to print what they choose. Everyone who's an citizen of this country SHOULD know this is what being an American is about.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. phil

    @dion....especially the hatred African-Americans have for the African tribal leaders who sold them into slavery. Right?

    October 25, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. April

    The newspapers job is to report what's happening, not what they want happening or not happening. I bet if a gay man robbed a bank they'd report that!

    October 25, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    Does the paper charge for the announcements? If the announcements are free, fine they can be bigots, but if they charge for the announcements, they need to comply with state law and provide the service equally.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Audrey

      Newspapers can (and do) decline paid announcements, as well as advertisements, if they are contrary to their policies. It's all part of the First Amendment.

      I'm in favor of gay rights and of gay marriage rights, but I'm also in favor of First Amendment rights. Just because you accept money for a particular class of publication doesn't mean that you're obligated to accept all submissions that fall into that class.

      October 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dave E

    New Hampshire "Live Free (but don't print !) or DIE."

    Yeah, tell us about it.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Zen24

    Hey everybody cancel your subscription if you do not appreciate the papers stance. Since business and money and, of course, the politics that support these concepts, is all that conservatives and their various voices appear to care about, this will turn them around in a hurry. Hence, family, religion, abortion and gays will be relegated to simply trivial matters.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. The Real Fred

    I applaud that paper's stance. If you don't believe it's right, then don't support it by printing "marriage" notices.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. Zen24

    Hey Chewie:

    While I'm not, actually I'm right of libertarianism, Jesus was by all accounts a liberal!!

    October 25, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Buck Jackson

    I do not agree with their decision to not print the announcement but I do believe it is fully within their rights to not print it.

    October 25, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
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