California residents, Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones were married in San Francisco last summer, but that’s not good enough for The Spectrum, a Gannett Co. newspaper in southern Utah, where the couple’s family members live. After their wedding announcement was accepted–without a photo, out of concern that it would upset readers–the newspaper changed its mind. The AP published an e-mail exchange between publisher Donnie Welch and Jones:
“After all, our marriage is just as real and legal and entitled to celebration as any of the others that are announced each week in the pages of The Spectrum,” Jones wrote in an e-mail to Welch.
“This simply is not true,” Welch replied in an Aug. 10 e-mail, a copy of which the couple provided to The Associated Press. “While that may be the case in some states it is not the case in the state of Utah. As our policy is to run marriage announcements recognized by Utah law, I have made the decision not to run the announcement.
GLAAD also chimed in on the AP article. (Neither Welch nor Gannett responded to the reporter’s request for comment.) The advocacy organization compiles a yearly list of newspapers that do allow same-sex wedding or union announcements, which included The Spectrum in 2008. Robinson said:
“At the end of the day, this is not about their editorial pages or the opinions of their columnists… This is about the celebration pages reflecting the community, and a community is going to have people from many very different walks of life. We are diminished if our stories are put aside.”
GLAAD promises to contact Spectrum advertisers to let them know about the change in policy. And The Salt Lake Tribune, owned by MediaNews Group, Inc., printed their announcement.