Refusing Gay Wedding Announcement Doesn’t Make Union Leader Anti-Gay, Insists Clueless Publisher

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.


Paul Hodes

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.

What’s Worse For Greg + Aurelio: Newspaper Refusing To Run Wedding Announcement? Or Facing Deportation Separation?

[photo via]

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  • Ian

    Um yes it IS anti-gay and we should respond in kind $ for $ and NOT buy that rag anymore, especially in this day when newspapers are struggling our point will be made even more valid.

    And btw/fwi, both guys in that couple are HOT ;)

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I love it when editors say “This paper” when what they really mean is “I personally don’t like it.”

    Contact every advertiser in their paper and inform them you will no longer support them with your money.

  • Peter

    The Union Leader is a completely anti-gay paper and has been for years. The only thing good I can say about them is that the internet is cutting back on their business.

    Tell their advertisers how much you hate bigots telling us what news is fit to print!

  • peteNsfo

    NH is it’s own world… and Manchester- oy. Portsmouth is our tiny gay oasis in the northeast, and Portland, ME. No one goes to Manche-land, unless they have to. (sorry local guys)

    I’m feeling a little defeated after the Gold’s Gym disclosure this morning… what’s a gay to do???

    Century Theatres, CineArts, Target, Best Buy, CHASE, Haagen Daaz, now Gold’s- who am I leaving out? On the up-side, I’m gonna be rich w/ all the money staying in my pocket.

  • kevin

    Queerty, can you disseminate the major advertisers of the rag. I’d love to email them to ask they no longer advertise in this publication. If not, they’ll lose my patronage.

  • Mad Hominem

    My city newspaper (Omaha World-Herald) recently had to take a position on publishing gay wedding announcements after a fair amount of controversy. They decided that as they only publish straight wedding announcements for which there will be an official legal ceremony, the same applies to gays. Given there’s no gay marriage in Nebraska, you can’t get in directly, but if, say, you get married just across the river in Iowa, they will publish it.

    Honestly I think it’s a reasonable and consistent approach, given that they don’t announce extralegal ceremonies to begin with, gay or straight. Do I think that would be neat? Sure. But I can’t say the OWH is anti-gay, given they’re being fair across the board on this policy, and they (unlike the Union-Leader) have a very gay-favorable editorial position.

  • soakman

    @mad hominem

    It’s not exactly fair if the option is not available. That’s like saying, I’ve never given money to people with no money. So I’m not going to. I do however give everyone who already has a dollar, another dollar. Therefore, I am treating both of these groups equally and with equal respect.

    I mean, I see th logic, but why on Earth should you have to hop the border to take vows to get an announcement in your hometown paper?

    That seems a little ridiculous, and something that is not asked of other couples.

  • fubar

    I should be more upset, but I realize the only people that read newspapers todays are members of NOM and AARP and soon to be in a retirement home and too delirious to vote. So eh, IMHO, let the ‘phobics have one last year of one last platform for their anger. It will be bankrupt before next years white part

  • Bev

    I am glad to see that there is someone who stands up for what they really believe!

  • alan brickman

    Nice doublespeak….it’s like thretening South Park and saying “I’m notting threteneing them”….how did that work out again???

  • Cam

    Suuuure, and refusing to print any pictures of Asians wouldn’t mean at ALL that the paper doesn’t like Asians.

    And of course refusing to print any pictures of Hispanics would mean that the paper doesn’t like Hispanics etc….

  • the crustybastard

    Dear Mr. McQuaid,

    Like you, I do not encourage immoral behavior.

    Therefore, if gays started making a practice of throwing the entire contents of your newsracks into the nearest dumpster, I would condemn that behavior in the strongest possible terms.

    That would be terribly, hilariously wrong.

    In conclusion, go fuck yourself, you fucking bigot.

  • Michael

    Print media will do whatever it takes to sell ads and subscriptions these days. It’s hard to get overly excited about a sinking ship.

  • Jayson

    I live in NH and the Union Leader is a republican newspaper, it’s a known fact. This statement was nothing more than a political move, trying to bash the Governor who signed marriage equality into law, because they support his opponent in the current governors race.

    As for there referendum claim, there is no referendum process in NH, They could propose a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality but I can guarantee you it would fail in NH as you need it takes years to get the question on the ballet because it requires a constitutional convention and then it would need two/thirds of the vote to pass.

    Finally I would say that the paper has the right to free speech and not print this wedding announcement. This is not an example of a vendor denying them because of their orientation, a photographer for example who does weddings cannot decide they wouldn’t do a same-sex wedding because of their religious beliefs, the only exemption in NH is clergy and churches.

  • Wolfsbane McDogstail

    Find out IMMEDIATELY who this paper’s sponsors are! Contact them and kindly inform them that if they continue to run ads in this bigot’s newspaper you will kindly and oh-so-politely not buy a FOOKIN’ one of their items or services!!!!

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    I say the Keene Journal and other News sources in NH should make the point that the News Leader is only reporting the news that it wants to, not all of the news in the community.

    I can see it now….

    “Read The Manchester News Leader and see half the story”

  • GregorVonK

    Growing up next door in Maine, I can confirm that–as others have mentioned–this paper has always been notoriously right wing, as is its readership. Contacting their advertisers and indicating you’ll boycott them is certainly more effective than boycotting the paper itself–self respecting gays and their supporters wouldn’t buy it in the first place.

  • ricky

    Gay news papers wouldn’t print a straight couple’s wedding invite in print because they can use the gay card to discriminate against straight couples and use the justice system to uphold their right to refuse straight wedding invites in print due to the fact that they run a gay newspaper and have the right to not print the information for a straight couple. This gay couple should have done their homework on what kind of paper they were dealing with. Kind stupid to go to a right-leaning newspaper as an extreme far-left gay couple and are shocked at the response. This is stupid to say that this is an example of bigotry when the newspaper has broken no laws and is not even a target audience for the GLBT readers. Gays need to use common sense. Thanks to the far-left, however, gays feel a sense of entitlement and use words like hate and bigot when they don’t get their way and common sense isn’t a requirement to engage with society about such social issues.


    i will be cancelling my subscription today to the union leader,as a gay married man i am very dissapointed!

  • Joe

    @ricky: how do you know the couple is far-left? Slog off you troll.

  • Mordecai

    “We are not ‘anti-gay.’ We are for marriage remaining the important man-woman institution it has always been.”
    Then you’re anti-gay, you dickheads. Don’t you love how the anti-gay make crappy on how they are supposedly not, in fact, anti-gay; they’re just “pro” other things, pro-straight, pro family(because gays appear out of thin air and have no family), pro-not treating us equally?

Comments are closed.