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A newspaper publisher in Omaha has announced a policy change that will allow gay and lesbian couples to share the news about their weddings -- as long as they're legally recognized as weddings.
The change in the Omaha World-Herald policy comes after parents Jeff and Heidi Wilke attempted to submit a wedding announcement for their daughter Kristin Wilke and her new wife, Jessica Kitzman. The couple married August 20 in Minnesota, and the Wilkes wanted an announcement of their daughter's wedding included in a preceding issue of the newspaper. However, publisher Terry Kroeger told the Wilkes that same-sex couples are not allowed to buy announcements in the World-Herald.
After the rejection, Kitzman and Wilke launched a Facebook group to bring the issue to light. They say they've learned about more couples who were rejected by the newspaper's celebrations section because they are gay or lesbian.
"Moving forward, please understand that this effort is for ALL same-gender couples seeking this right -- not just our family," the couple wrote on the Facebook profile for "Omaha World Herald Denies GLBT Equal Rights."
According to Media Matters, the newspaper has amended its policy as of Monday and will print announcements for "legal weddings, engagements for legal weddings or anniversaries of a legal marriage."
Kroger said that while some will criticize the paper for either going too far or not far enough, "our sense is that this change will provide for a public 'celebration' of important milestones in the lives of people who take the significant steps toward legally sanctioned marriage." He said the World-Herald would publish announcements only for weddings that take place in one of the jurisdictions that legally recognizes same-sex marriage: Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.