Less than two years ago, the Morning News still refused to sell paid advertisements announcing same-sex weddings — and the newspaper was even prepared to go to court to defend its policy of putting gay couples under a separate heading, “Commitments.”
Under threat of prosecution from the city of Dallas, The Morning News finally reversed this discriminatory policy.
Then, last December, the Morning News for the first time published an editorial backing the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians.
Today, on the heels of oral arguments in lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, the Morning News published a second pro-marriage-equality editorial, calling for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down both anti-gay laws:
“It is rare that two cases of such magnitude arrived before the Supreme Court in the same session — and perhaps even rarer that public sentiment changes so profoundly and so quickly on such a controversial issue,” the newspaper writes. “The court was wise to accept both cases, and now the nation stands on the precipice of momentous cultural and legal decisions this summer.
“As this newspaper editorialized in December, we urge the Supreme Court to affirm the right of gay couples to marry based upon the fundamental American ideal of equality before the law. It is critical that the court also make clear that such a ruling won’t require churches whose doctrines oppose same-sex marriage to perform such ceremonies. …
“We respect religious traditions that consider same-sex unions an affront to their beliefs and note that the First Amendment protects places of worship from being compelled to conduct same-sex marriages. Nevertheless, gay couples deserve the same legal rights as everyone else. Fairness demands this outcome, and change is coming.”
The editorial stops short of calling for the high court to issue a sweeping ruling in the Prop 8 case that would overturn marriage amendments in Texas and dozens of other states — which experts say is an unlikely outcome. And some cynics will undoubtedly argue the newspaper’s support of marriage equality is a business decision from a struggling daily newspaper that’s trying to appeal to the LGBT demographic.
But regardless, we’ll take it.
Now it’s time for Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Dallas City Council to follow suit.