The Logan Herald-Journal has stirred up a local political firestorm by publishing a wedding announcement by a lesbian couple (actual couple pictured at left). The announcement was published in the paper on Sunday, July 27th, 2008. Full story published August 4th by KSL Channel 5 (502 comments so far) and on August 5th by the Salt Lake Tribune.
The Herald-Journal defended the decision in a statement published on August 1st by saying that since wedding ads are paid space, it has a responsibility to give all paying customers equal access to the service. The Herald-Journal further explained that it first implemented the policy in 2006, but this is the first time it has come into play. They also say the same applies to obituaries, where listing of homosexual partners has happened before, and where the paper would "never think of injecting its own moral code." [Ed. Note: There's a bit of a difference between weddings and funerals. When a people die, they are equally defined as dead regardless of any other circumstances. But not every personal partnership is equally defined as "marriage".]
Here's the "wedding" announcement:
Kresta Spencer and Carrie Taylor are pleased to announce their marriage on Aug. 8, 2008, at Memory Grove Park in Salt Lake City.
A reception will be held in their honor that evening at the Memorial House at Memory Grove Park, in Salt Lake City.
Kresta’s parents are John and Chiq Spencer of Logan. Kresta is the oldest daughter. She is a sucessful stock broker and retirement specialist.
Carrie’s parents are John and Colleen Taylor of Kaysville. Carrie is the oldest daughter. She is a specialty heart nurse and is starting her master’s degree in hospital administration this fall. They have been together 2 1/2 years.
Turning it into a cause celebre was a letter to the editor of the Herald-Journal, published on August 1st, protesting the decision. Here's the LTE (147 public comments posted in response so far):
To the editor:
With regard to the publication of the “marriage” of the same-sex couple published in last Sunday’s edition of The Herald Journal, shame on the editors at the newspaper for knowingly publishing false information about a purported “marriage.” The last I knew, same-sex marriages are not recognized by the State of Utah and cannot be performed here. As the “wedding announcement” plainly states, the “marriage” took place in Salt Lake City. (Had the announcement stated that the marriage was performed in California, it could have been argued that there was a valid marriage in place since California now recognizes such unions.) Unless the laws have changed, this is not a wedding announcement, and The Herald Journal should not have knowingly published it as such. I realize these are probably paid announcements by the individuals who submit the articles, and the argument can be made that there is no way to verify whether other announcements are for marriages that are truly taking place, but since this is the announcement of a same-sex “marriage” in a state where such unions are not legally recognized, surely someone at your paper could have recognized and acknowledged that this was an outright falsehood. Unless The Herald Journal intends to start running articles about every couple, heterosexual or homosexual, that decides to start living together without benefit of marriage, this should never have been run in the wedding section of the paper. I would also suggest that you change the name of this section of the paper to “weddings, engagements and live-ins or other relationships” since you obviously seem content to publish out-of-wedlock living arrangements as actual marriages.
A surprisingly high number of commenters from the local area disagree with Rougeau's letter. On August 4th, the Herald-Journal published a LTE from Lezlie Blazzard supporting the Herald-Journal's decision.
Commentary: Even those who condemn the Herald-Journal's decision aren't taking the position that the paper shouldn't have published it. They simply object to it being published under the "Weddings" category and the use of the term "marriage", since same-sex marriage is not recongized in Utah.
A better way for the Herald-Journal to handle this in the future would be to create a separate category called "Personals" to accomodate those who want to publicize "personal commitment ceremonies", which is a much less controversial approach. The willingness of the gay community to continue their offensive to re-define marriage will continue to expose them to growing backlash; anti-gay bias may have partially motivated the physical attack on D.J. Bell in Salt Lake.
But what's disturbing is the large number of people who are demonizing Narayne Rougeau over her understandable objections. The campaign to normalize homosexuality has not only mainstreamed ordinary gay relationships, but is also making the public exhibition of extreme perversion more acceptable, as people continue to become desensitized. The Vanguard News Network has exposed the perversions on public display at the recent "Up Your Alley" festival in San Francisco, which is furthered discussed HERE. Please note that the link provided may lead to some highly graphic and objectionable images of public fellation, masturbation, and B & D which took place during this festival; it is suggested you choose the censored option over the uncensored option.
While the "Up Your Alley" festival may not be characteristic of the larger gay community as a whole, the mere idea that gay men are allowed to display their family jewels in public, while police benevolently look on, is a sign of how far we've descended culturally.