Texas newspaper refuses to run same sex wedding announcement

By David Ferguson
Saturday, September 7, 2013 11:28 EDT
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Cooks and Wrightener via screencap
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A lesbian couple in Texarkana, TX said that their local newspaper refused to run an announcement of their wedding. KSLA reported that Michelle Cooks and her partner Patricia Wrightener were told by the Texarkana Gazette that it’s against company policy to announce wedding that it views as illegal in the state of Texas.

“We were discriminated against,” Cooks said.”There’s no other reason not to have our picture in the paper.”

Gazette spokesperson Les Minor told KSLA that since same sex couples are not recognized by the state of Texas, the paper is under no obligation to print announcements for them.

“The Texarkana Gazette publishes wedding, engagement and anniversary announcements related to marriages or impending marriages that are recognized by states in which it circulates,” said Minor. “This policy have been in place for several years. Neither Texas nor Arkansas allows same-sex marriages or recognize same sex marriages from other states. If those laws change, this newspaper will re-examine its policy.”

Cooks argued that as a news organ for the area, the Gazette should accurately reflect the community it purports to serve.

“We live in Texarkana,” says Cooks. “It is our Texarkana Gazette and we felt we had a right just like everyone else to announce our wedding. This isn’t really just about Texas. It’s simply about us in our hometown wanting to announce our wedding.”

The couple now plans to announce their wedding arrangements on Facebook. The ceremony takes place on September 18 in Texarkana.

Watch video about this story, embedded via KSLA, below:

KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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