Following the lead of its flagship paper, The Orange County [Calif.] Register, Freedom Communications Inc. has become the first national newspaper chain to enact a policy prescribing all its papers to print same-sex union announcements, according to a Tuesday press release from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Its new policy affects 35 newspapers in 11 states, including The [Alton, Ill.] Telegraph, the Brownsville [Tex.] Herald, and The [Panama City, Fla.] News Herald.
Since August, GLAAD has kept a tally of newspapers that print same-sex union announcements, and Freedom Communications' decision brings the total to
"This is another huge step for gay and lesbian couples," said GLAAD executive director Joan M. Garry. "We are proud to have fueled a discussion in the newspaper industry that leads corporations to consider the equity of their policies toward gay and lesbian readers. Freedom Communications deserves to be congratulated and should serve as a role model for other companies."