New York Times Announces Inclusion of Gay Unions

On Sunday, the New York Times announced its decision to include same-sex couples in its wedding announcements section of the Sunday Styles section of the paper. Times executive director Howell Raines stated that the paper was making this change in recognition of the fact that there is a growing societal trend toward public commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples, and that these commitments are important to Times readers. However, he added that the Times news sections would continue to remain impartial on the subject of the legality and morality of lesbian and gay marriage (NY Times).

Raines promised that same-sex couples would receive the same consideration as straight couples in this section (NY Times). Lesbian and gay couples must either take part in a commitment ceremony or formalize a domestic partnership, either by entering into a civil union in Vermont or by registering their partnership in cities that offer this, which include NYC.

“This is the most important policy change the New York Times has made since they began to call women ‘Ms.’ instead of ‘Miss’ in 1986,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “I hope that this marks a cultural shift in the society at large toward supporting equal rights for same-sex couples.” The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has announced it is launching its “Announcing Equality Project” to double the number of local and regional papers that include announcements for same-sex couples. “We believe the time is right for newspapers across the country to embrace fair and accurate inclusion of same-sex union announcements,” said Joan M. Garry, executive director of GLAAD, in a release about their campaign.


The New York Times 8/18/02; GLAAD, www.glaad.org

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