As we noted here yesterday, the Spectrum, in St. George, Utah received – and refused – a paid wedding announcement from Spencer Jones and Tyler Barrick. The couple was married last June, in California, but they are having a wedding reception and celebration in Southern Utah with their family on August 22, 2009. They wanted to share this moment with their family, friends and community by publishing their announcement in the “Celebrations” section of the Spectrum.
Barrick and Jones
After the publisher, Donnie Welch, refused this announcement, Jones called on GLAAD for help. We reported yesterday that we had reached out to the paper, and encouraged you to reach out to Mr. Welch and ask him to reconsider his position. We would ask you to continue to reach out to Mr. Welch, and respectfully ask him to print Spencer and Tyler’s announcement.
A report last night on Utah’s KUTV evening news broadcast indicated that Mr. Welch had heard from many people, and is reconsidering the paper’s policy and might publish this announcement. Please continue to encourage him to do so:
GLAAD also reached out to Gannett Co., the owners of the Spectrum. Robin Pence the Vice President of Communications at Gannett reported to us that policies like this exclusionary one at the Spectrum, are, “up to the local publisher." Most Gannett Co. newspapers are accepting of advertisements from gay couples. It’s time for Gannett to ensure that none of their newspapers have exclusionary policies. We hope you’ll reach out to Gannett and encourage them to reconsider their hands-off approach:
Vice President of Communications
GLAAD pitched this story and yesterday’s GLAADblog entry to several reporters, and saw widespread media coverage of the story, including in the Spectrum itself:
- The Associated Press – “Paper rejects same-sex wedding announcement”
- The Salt Lake Tribune – “Newspaper rejects same-sex wedding notice”
- KUTV – “Spectrum Wedding Announcement Controversy”
- City Weekly! – “Spectrum doesn’t like gay marriage”
- Spectrum – “Paper refuses same-sex notice”
Yesterday, GLAAD contacted 14 major corporations that advertise with the Spectrum, that also have non-discrimination policies covering sexual orientation (and about half also cover gender identity). We asked those companies to pull their advertising dollars from the paper because of this exclusionary policy.
We will update this blog with any additional information about this story.