Effective Sunday, March 8, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram will be accepting same-sex marriage, engagement, anniversary and civil union announcements, Fairness Fort Worth President David Mack Henderson announced today (Saturday, March 7).
The first print issue of the Star-Telegram to include such announcements will be Sunday, March 15. The deadline to get such announcements in that issue is Monday, March 9. The announcements are considered paid advertising.
Henderson said the Star-Telegram has few restrictions on timelines for such announcements, and that the newspaper currently has “engagement announcements posted for more than a year out, or no timeline at all, and also a marriage announcement published seven months after the fact. We suggest that you include you were ‘legally married’ or that your engagement is to ‘wed legally’ in your narrative to expedite inclusion,” he said.
Henderson sad that Fairness Fort Worth representatives have held discussions over the last several weeks senior management at the Star-Telegram, “encouraging the paper to present a more realistic picture of our community throughout their coverage area.” He said those discussion have led to “increased coverage of timely legislative and court actions, the announcement by our Tarrant County Clerk’s office regarding issuing marriage licenses when courts clear the way and a superb article featuring two local same-sex families with children who represent the essence of what it means to be part of the integral fabric of our community.”
Henderson said that Star-Telegram Publisher Gary Wortel confirmed for him that the paper will carry announcements from LGBT couples. Henderson also noted that the newspaper’s criteria for marriage announcement specifically are based on the couple being legally married in a jurisdiction that legally recognizes same-sex marriage. Those who hold commitment ceremonies or holy unions that are not legally recognized can place their announcement in the Star-Telegram’s “celebrations” section.
Henderson also said that couples wanting to place an announcement in the Star-Telegram need to remember such announcements have to be paid for. Costs for marriage announcements are at three levels, starting at $75 and going up to $504.
The announces are “now available to all citizens, as they should be under the city of Fort Worth’s non-discrimination ordinance regarding public accommodations,” Henderson said. “Mr. Wortel shared that in the case of a large number of ads [being placed] immediately due to pent-up demand, they can always print more pages. The online announcements remain for months, while each ad is run on one specific Sunday in print.
“FFW will continue working with Star-Telegram management to iron out any issues that arise,” Henderson said. “For instance, if the web site still says bride/groom, overlook that for now, and still register.
“We encourage our community to actively promote their authentic, loving relationships, giving testimony to our lives truly lived and fostering an embracing environment for our youth in search of proactive role models and seeking their rightful place as they grow and develop into healthy adulthood,” Henderson said. “The time for our families is now.”
Here is the announcement that ran in the Sunday, March 8 issue of Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Section D, Page 5, announcing the policy change:
“To Our Readers: The Star-Telegram accepts announcements for Weddings, Engagements, Anniversaries, and Civil Unions regardless of gender. To qualify for publication in our Sunday Life section, under the Wedding heading, same-sex wedding ceremonies must be performed in states where same-sex marriages are legally recognized. Ceremonies taking place in states where same-sex marriages are not legally recognized will be listed under Celebrations. The Star-Telegram reserves the right to reject, edit or revise any copy and photos for any reason deemed material by the publisher. In the event the advertiser has prepaid for advertising which is later rejected or canceled by the Star-Telegram, the sole liability for such action by the Star-Telegram shall be a refund of the unused portion of the prepayment for such canceled advertising. The advertiser will be contacted by the Star-Telegram Announcement Coordinator after the announcement has been edited. The announcement will not be published until final approval has been given by the advertiser. Please do not use any abbreviations in your announcement information. To place an announcement go to: www. star-telegram.com/celebrations or call 817-390-7178. Deadline: Monday noon prior to the Sunday publication.”