For those with the romantic notion that all print media necessarily strives to be impartial, New Hampshire’s Union Leader may leave you a little jaded.  The paper –the state’s largest — refused this week to publish the marriage announcement of Manchester, New Hampshire native Greg Gould and his fiance Aurelio Tine, a gay couple living in New York.  The couple plans to wed today in Portsmouth.  Marriage equality became the law of New Hampshire on January 1, 2010.

The Union Leader said in a statement:

This newspaper has never published wedding or engagement announcements from homosexual couples. It would be hypocritical of us to do so, given our belief that marriage is and needs to remain a social and civil structure between men and women, and our opposition to the recent state law legalizing gay marriage.

That law was not subject to public referendum and the governor (John Lynch) who signed it was elected after telling voters that he was opposed to gay marriage. Indeed, in no state where the public has been allowed a direct vote on the subject has gay marriage prevailed.

We are not “anti-gay.” We are for marriage remaining the important man-woman institution it has always been.

While the law sanctions gay marriage, it neither demands that churches perform them or that our First Amendment right to choose what we print be suspended. In accordance with that right, we continue our longstanding policy of printing letters to the editor from New Hampshire citizens, whether or not they agree with us.

-Joseph W. McQuaid Publisher

They may have the legal right not to print the announcement, but by exercising that right and releasing that ridiculously bigoted statement the publisher has proven beyond a doubt that the Union Leader is not an honest journalistic enterprise but rather just another republican radical right rag.

U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, currently in a tight race for U.S. Senate, released a statament taking the Union Leader to task.  He said, in part:

It is reprehensible that the Union Leader would exclude legal marriage in New Hampshire from publication because of their right-wing agenda. Legitimate minds can disagree over policy but once the law is settled, the paper should put aside differences and allow all couples to have equal access to their publication.

Mr. Gould and Mr. Tine will become legally married this weekend and they should have the same opportunities as everyone in New Hampshire to have their marriage publicized and recognized. The Union Leader‘s disgraceful policy of exclusion harkens to a different time in this country when people were denied opportunity because of their race, religion and ethnic origin.

The GOP failed miserably this past spring in an attempt to force a referendum on the marriage equality law.  I guess the Union Leader hasn’t gotten the message yet that the majority of people in New Hampshire approve of the marriage equality law.  Perhaps this is because the Union Leader only reads its own propaganda?
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