New York Times to run same-sex commitment notices

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 19 2002 11:00 PM ET

The New York Times plans to begin publishing announcements of same-sex commitment ceremonies along with its wedding announcements. The announcements of formal gay and lesbian unions will begin next month in the paper's Sunday Styles section, Howell Raines, executive editor of the Times, said in Sunday's edition of the paper.

"In making this change, we acknowledge the newsworthiness of a growing and visible trend in society toward public celebrations of commitment by gay and lesbian couples--celebrations important to many of our readers, their families, and their friends," Raines said. "We recognize that society remains divided about the legal and religious definition of marriage, and our news columns will remain impartial in that debate, reporting fully on all points of view," he added.

After the newspaper's announcement, media watchdog group the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said it was launching an effort to double within a year the number of local and regional newspapers that list same-sex commitment ceremonies, unions, and weddings.

"We are taking the same appeal we made to The New York Times for equal coverage to newspapers in the nation's top 100 media markets," said Joan Garry, GLAAD executive director. "It's simply a matter of fairness and accurate representation of important events occurring in the communities these papers serve. We believe the time is right for newspapers across the country to embrace fair and accurate inclusion of same-sex union announcements."

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