Just because the New Hampshire Union Leader, the state’s largest circulation newspaper, won’t run the same-sex wedding announcement of Greg Gould and Aurelio Tiné doesn’t make the newspaper “anti-gay,” claims its publisher Joseph W. McQuaid. It’s just that gay marriage was never decided on by voters, and thus the paper remains firmly entrenched in the belief that marriage is for likely-to-divorce male and female couples only.
Even Rep. Paul Hodes (pictured, right), the Democratic congressman, has weighed in on the newspaper’s gay dis, writing the paper in a letter to the editor yesterday:
I read with deep disappointment that the Union Leader has decided it will not publish the wedding announcement for Greg Gould and Aurelio Tine. The couple is legally getting married this weekend in Portsmouth. Last year New Hampshire legalized same-sex marriage to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity.
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.
Mr. McQuaid and I disagree on many things but I have always respected his opinion. He should respect the laws of New Hampshire and allow this couple a place in his newspaper along with other couples being married this weekend.
Of course, there’s a political element to Hodes’ public engagement with the newspaper: He’s challenging his Republican opponent Kelly Ayotte to also denounce the paper’s decision in a lovely public stunt. Ayotte, who’s opposed to even allowing gays to adopt, isn’t likely to join Hodes any time soon.
But that’s not enough to sway publisher McQuaid (pictured, right), who’s been no fan of Gov. John Lynch, who signed New Hampshire’s marriage bill into law. McQuaid’s full statement about you homos trying to take over his paper:
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.
Either way, Greg and Aurelio are getting married today in Portsmouth. (They might be husband-and-husband already!) And when the gays begin canceling their Union Leader subscriptions, we’ll still have their vows.
NB: Alas, the challenges aren’t over for this couple: Aurelio, a Venezuelan native, is running out of time to secure papers to stay in the country. His marriage will be of no significance in that matter, courtesy DOMA.