When I was a little kid, we alternately subscribed to the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat. Back in those days, there was an actual rivalry going on between Little Rock’s two major newspapers, and they were constantly tossing subscribers back and forth, depending on who was doing a better job at that point in time. Then, of course, the papers merged and became the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Regardless, I loved it when the paper came, especially on Sundays. I loved the funny papers, of course, like any kid, but I also had this weird obsession with architecture and real estate, and the papers really delivered when it came to that kind of reporting.
My point is that I have history with this paper. So it’s sad to report that, when given the opportunity to break a little bit of ground and publish the commitment ceremony announcement of a gay couple, they chose failure:
Cody Renegar, 35, of Elkins, Ark. asked the Arkansas Democrat Gazette to publish an engagement announcement for his June wedding commitment ceremony, something Renegar said happens for other couples who would like to announce their impending nuptials.
“I called the newspaper and asked how I can submit our announcement for publication,” Renegar told Yahoo! News. “I was told that they won’t publish them until it’s legal.”
Renegar said the newspaper declined to run the announcement because of long-standing policy.
Lame. It’s worth noting that this seems to specifically involve the Democrat Gazette’s Northwest Arkansas affiliate, the Northwest Arkansas Times. However, it’s all the same company, and it seems all branches have the same policy. Also:
According to newspaper representatives, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette charges a minimal fee and has content length requirements, but does run announcements on a regular basis for heterosexual couples, including mixed race couples.
Oh, that is big of you, Democrat Gazette, considering the fact that Loving was handed down in nineteen-sixty-freaking-seven.
There is a petition at Change.org, asking the paper to, instead of being dragged into history as it happens, be a pioneer and refuse to discriminate against any of their readers, regardless of what state law says. Sign it.