On the surface, it seems like a small change. Same-sex marriages have, until now, been placed in the commitments sections of DMN. But starting yesterday, they will be in the Weddings section. But the struggle at the paper had gotten complicated and litigious. The Dallas Voice has the story.
Mark Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup of Irving, who were legally married in Washington, D.C., last year, filed a discrimination complaint against The DMN in December, alleging that the policy violates a Dallas city ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations. The DMN initially indicated through its attorneys that it planned to defend the policy, based partly on Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage. But in a meeting with the couple on Thursday, Moroney and DMN Editor Bob Mong informed them of the policy change.
Moroney told Instant Tea today that the newspaper made the change, which takes effect immediately, because it was “the right thing to do,” adding that he isn’t worried about backlash from conservative readers.
“When you do the right thing, you just do the right thing,” Moroney said. “I believe that publishing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legally allowed, that publishing those under the Weddings heading in our newspaper, is the right thing to do.”
I’m continually fascinated by the controversy over wedding announcements because in many papers–including DMN–these are paid announcements. In a time when the media is struggling, it’s fascinating that newspapers are ready to turn away money just because they want to take a stand on LGBT lives.
That said, congratulations to DMN for changing its policy. It is the right thing to do.