This past Sunday, The Dallas Morning News stayed true to its word and printed its first-ever wedding announcement for a legally married gay couple, Mark Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup, in the “Weddings” section of the newspaper. Previously, wedding announcements for legally married lesbian and gay couples appeared in the “Commitments” section, both in print and online. The paper was compelled to change the policy after Mark and Dante filed a discrimination complaint against DMN for declining to run their marriage announcement in the “Weddings” section last year. The couple argued that the paper’s policy at the time violated a Dallas city ordinance prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation. Mark and Dante were legally married in Washington, D.C., this past December. GLAAD also reached out to the paper on behalf of the couple in an attempt to resolve the issue. Despite claims to the contrary by the newspaper’s lawyers, DMN Publisher James M. Moroney III, along with Editor Bob Mong, met with Mark and Dante and assured them that the policy would become fully inclusive. DMN officially announced the policy change July 1. The couple released a statement that day, saying, “We are thrilled with this decision and thank The Dallas Morning News for making this historic change. The new policy shows respect for our marriage and future couples who place a wedding ad with The Dallas Morning News.” The newspaper has the second highest circulation in Texas, including Sunday circulation. GLAAD applauds The Dallas Morning News for revising their policy to become fully inclusive of legally married gay and lesbian couples. We also applaud Mark and Dante for persistence that really paid off- not only for them, but also for generations to come. For several years now, GLAAD has encouraged LGBT people to join us in Announcing Equality, for it is in sharing the most significant moments of our lives (our joys and our sorrows) that we underscore our commonly-held values with the communities of which we are a part.
Mark Reed-Walkup, left, and Dante Walkup. The couple's wedding announcement appeared in The Dallas Morning News on July 17 and can be viewed online.