The New York Times prints first civil union announcement

BY Advocate.com Editors

September 03 2002 11:00 PM ET

The New York Times on Sunday ran its first announcement of a same-sex commitment ceremony, celebrating the union of a Fulbright scholar and the founder of a public affairs consulting firm.

The civil union ceremony of Daniel Gross, 32, and Steven Goldstein, 40, by a judge in Vermont ran along with the couple's photo in the newly retitled "Weddings/Celebrations" feature on Sunday.

"Ten years ago, none of this would have been possible," Goldstein said during an exchange of Jewish vows at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montreal. "Dreams do come true."

Times executive editor Howell Raines announced in August that the newspaper would begin announcing same-sex unions. "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.

The gay and lesbian couples featured in the Times are selected by editors using the same criteria as used for weddings: the newsworthiness and accomplishments of the couples and their families.

Gross, a Fulbright scholar, is a vice president of GE Capital in Stamford, Conn. Goldstein founded Attention America, a New York City public affairs consulting firm.

"It's incredibly inspiring and gratifying to see the Times print its first same-sex union announcement a mere two weeks after changing its policy," said Joan Garry, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which has led a push for newspapers all over the country to publish civil union announcements along with marriage announcements. "We congratulate Daniel and Steven on their union, and we hope that when local newspaper editors learn about the announcement, they will be motivated to announce inclusive policies of their own so gay and lesbian couples in their communities can follow Steven and Daniel's lead."

Meanwhile, The Dallas Morning News may soon run same-sex commitment ceremony announcements, according to the gay newspaper Dallas Voice. "We are still talking about it in our senior management, and the sentiment is pretty much for it," said Morning News editor Bob Mong. "We are checking with other newspapers and trying to work out what our standards should be."

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