The New Hampshire Union Leader, the state's second largest newspaper, has refused to print the wedding announcement of a gay couple planning to be married tomorrow in New Hampshire, one of four New England states where marriage is legal for gay and lesbian couples. Greg & Aurelio are the couple affected by the Union Leader's discriminatory policy. Having grown up in Manchester, Greg thought New Hampshire would be the perfect place to wed his partner Aurelio, who's from Venezuela. GLAAD is in touch with Greg & Aurelio's attorney and wedding planner. We have offered to field media inquiries and provide the couple with media training - both in English & Spanish. GLAAD has also left messages for both the publisher (Joe McQuaid) and executive editor (Tami Plyler) at the Union Leader. As of this blog's publishing (Friday, Oct. 22 at 1:30 p.m. EST), messages have not been returned. We have asked the paper to confirm their policy, as was reportedly dictated to Greg, who asked why the paper would exclude the wedding announcements of same-sex couples in a state where marriage for gay and lesbian couples is legal. Publisher Joe McQuaid reportedly responded by saying:
"The state recognizes a lot of things, including my right to set policy for the newspaper. This paper's view is that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that will never change as long as I am running the paper."Joe’s comments indicate that even in a state where gay and lesbian couples have legal equality, political and cultural institutions (in this case, a newspaper) still turn their backs and treat their relationships as inferior to straight couples. We cannot tolerate this, especially from the newspaper with the second-largest circulation in the state. GLAAD is urging the paper to change its policy. Many are already doing the same. This action urges supporters of Greg & Aurelio to send an e-mail to editors of the Union Leader, letting them know that New Hampshire is a state that treats all people - and all couples - equally. the potential economic implications of the paper's discriminatory policy. As part of our Announcing Equality project, GLAAD has been working since 2002 with newspapers across the country to allow wedding announcements from same-sex couples. At last count (2008), nearly 72 percent of newspapers had wedding announcement policies inclusive of gay and lesbian couples. Whereas in 2002, 70 papers allowed such announcements, that number rose to 1,049 by 2008. TAKE ACTION NOW: Tell the New Hampshire Union Leader to change its wedding annoucement policy immediately to include same-sex couples, bringing it in line with a state that has been at the forefront of the movement for marriage equality.