Same-sex marriages are not recognized by the State of Texas so the Dallas Morning News has adopted a policy to refuse to print the wedding announcements of gay and lesbian couples. Mind you, wedding announcements are not free — they have to be paid for by the couple. My thought is hey, in a declining economy and in a time where the printed newspaper is struggling to survive with the serious competition of the internet news services, um, why would a newspaper turn away revenue dollars?
That’s not the point, actually. I just thought I’d throw that out there for you to ponder. It’s a discriminatory policy and it’s wrong. Period. According to Change.org, other newspapers in states that don’t recognize gay marriages routinely print gay wedding announcements. Among them are the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Omaha World-Herald.
Refusing to print same-sex wedding announcements demeans gay and lesbian couples. One couple whose wedding announcement was denied by the Dallas Morning News is fighting back. Mark Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup have filed a discrimination complaint with the city of Dallas. Their argument is that the current policy of the Dallas Morning News violates the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance regarding public accommodations.
The couple gained notoriety back in October when they were married in Dallas by an officiate in Washington, D.C. — via Skype. Watch the CBS News report of their wedding here. They filed the complaint in November.
“Our ultimate goal is for the newspaper to realize that this is discrimination and change their policy,” Reed-Walkup said, according to the Dallas Voice. “They [the city] may agree with the newspaper that because of the ban on same-sex marriage in Texas, they have every justification to not publish it in the ‘Weddings’ section. At least we can say that we tried, and take it from there.”
A court held that their Skype marriage had very little legal standing, so the couple did travel to D.C. in December to re-marry.
I’ll be watching this one to see if justice is served.
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copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski