North Dakota Paper Denies Lesbian Couple Wedding Announcement

Imagine sending your wedding announcement to your local paper only to have it and your $25 publication fee returned? That’s exactly what happened to Allison and Kelsey, a North Dakota couple who tried to make it known that they were planning to spend the rest of their lives together. The Forum newspaper told them “no.”

From an interview with

Kelsey Smith: “I was sad. I was bummed. I honestly had thought that as progressive as Fargo seemingly is at this point, I didn’t even consider that to be an option as a response. I thought, ‘cool we paid the money and we would see the announcement next Sunday.’”

But it wouldn't take long before rejection here would turn into widespread support - an instant online explosion of acceptance.

Allison Johnson: "We fell on the floor for a second, but our community picked us up and that is the best thing that could have happened in this situation and I think The Forum is listening to the community."

Earlier this week, Renae Nelson, a supporter of Allison and Kelsey, started a petition to organize support for the couple and to call on the paper to change it's antiquated policy.

Publish same-sex engagement and wedding announcements
Marriage is about celebrating the love and commitment between two people. Part of celebrating that love is announcing it to friends, family, neighbors, and the world. Why try to squash a relationship when half the heterosexual marriages end in divorce? Why are we so intent on being able to allow free speech to those who hate and promote war, yet not allow that same free speech for people who want to celebrate and be happy? Gay couples don't insist on straight couples celebrating their relationships "behind the scenes," where they can't see us. Why are we not allowing them the same courtesy?

Sign the petition at

GLAAD encourages all to sign this petition and tell The Forum that same-sex couples are equal to all other loving and caring couples who want to take care of and provide for the people they love. For more than 25 years GLAAD has worked to make newspapers and the media more inclusive of LGBT stories. In 2002, GLAAD launched the Announcing Equality campaign, after working with The New York Times to open its weddings/celebrations pages to lesbian and gay couples. The campaign specifically targets papers that excluded same-sex couples from their wedding and engagements sections.