Making It Official

BY Advocate Contributors

November 18 2011 4:00 AM ET

 Less than a decade ago, only 70 American newspapers were publishing same-sex wedding announcements. But on the heels of California’s controversial Proposition 8, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation conducted a poll in 2008 and determined that the number had increased to nearly 1,100, indicating that 83% of U.S. newspaper readers are served by a paper with an inclusive policy.

But before you send out that portrait of you and your betrothed, it pays to know which publications remain the high-profile holdouts, including New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, the Manchester-based Union Leader. Publisher Joe McQuaid says the paper isn’t antigay but believes marriage is between a man and a woman. And there’s St. George, Utah’s The Spectrum, which made news two years ago for accepting a paid wedding announcement from a former resident who legally married his husband in San Francisco, then rejecting it. Spectrum publisher Donnie Welch said it is policy to run announcements only of marriages recognized by Utah law.

Still, change seems to be at hand even in the most conservative states. The Dallas Morning News, the newspaper with the second-highest circulation in Texas, changed its policy in July to list announcements of same-sex marriages — at least, those from states where such marriages are legally recognized — under “Weddings” instead of the separate category “Commitments.” It was “the right thing to do,” said publisher James M. Moroney III.



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