Star runs same-sex marriage announcements

Dateline: Tue 28 Jul 2009

A media colleague and contact emailed today with a query:

"...maybe you addressed this already and I missed it, or maybe I'm off base - but did the Star run a same-sex marriage announcement on Sunday? I'm just getting around to reading the paper...If you still have the paper - CJ and Marie Siroky ... Despite being Catholic and a Republican, I'm in favor of same-sex marriage - just was surprised the Star was running those.  Have they run them before?"

 I did miss it this Sunday, although I usually read with interest the celebrations/anniversaries in the IndySunday section, which now covers arts and entertainment and lifestyle happenings.

I was pleased, when I checked the Star's website, to see that my friend is indeed correct -- the Star ran the marriage vows of CJ Weiss and Marie Siroky on Sunday.

I asked exec editor Dennis Ryerson if this represented a change in policy. He graciously replied,

"Thanks for asking. It wasn't a first. We've had two or three. Very little if any public response to any of them. Of course this one, with a pastoral associate and divinity student involved, would have been a tough one for some people to get their arms around."

Congrats to the Star for taking a stand. Ryerson has always been a progressive on this score, and to his credit, he has liberated the editorial pages and, from almost the day he arrived, made it clear that he wanted the paper under his watch to represent diverse points of view.

I also called the Star's number for this service --- 317-444-7474 -- and I was told, by a polite young lady, that "We didn't use to (run these announcements) because Indiana does not acknowledge same-sex marriage. But we do now."

The price for a photo and a full column of copy is $155.

Thanks to Ryerson for answering my email so promptly. I know the decision to run same/sex announcements will anger some conservative readers, but the Star has done the right thing.



Boomer [unverified] said:

I've seen one before for two men - probably several months ago. Caught my attention, but - even though I'm a Conservative and oppose same-sex marriage - the newspaper is a public entity that should be a melting pot of views. I'm not opposed to the Star running these. We don't have to accept everything that goes on, but we don't have to hate either.

2009-07-28 20:33:12

Wilson46201 [unverified] said:

I'd heard about this marriage elsewhere. What makes it particularly cool is that the couple said "they eloped"! There's only a 3-day waiting period in Iowa and that state is in the American heartland. It's easily drivable from Indianapolis.

Same-sex marriage is simply getting easier to do and with the Star wedding announcements, a lot more public.

Now to dump D.O.M.A. (both Federal and Hoosier) !!!

2009-07-28 20:43:49

Ramble Redhead [unverified] said:

I am glad to see that the Indy paper is putting the same sex announcements in the paper and the reaction has been good.

Up north, The Elkhart Truth did the same thing a few weeks ago and they had a HUGE response both good and bad comments to the site. Even the AFA made this a big thing in their newsletter and were begging people from all over the US to write, call or email about how horrible it was that they did this. Here is a link so you read the comments:

2009-07-28 23:58:28

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

One of my favorite Sunday diversions, after church, is the NYTimes, and their highly-readable Style section. Same-sex has been the rule of the day there for years. The Old Gray Lady's snappy writers always vett the Sunday weddings--they print your job and education, and your parents'. A healthy mix of blue-blood and new-to-the-Blueblood. I'd love to be in their meetings that determine which ones to run.

The resulting announcements are borderline snooty, and snotty. But I never miss them. And the Manners column. I could be wrong, but I don't think The Times charges.

I guess Mr. Milz deserves some credit--although not much, because this is a bottom-line issue, in the end. And, I suspect, he's personally in favor for, uh, multiple reasons.

2009-07-29 05:32:40

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Was this announcement a legal notice in with the births and divorces? Or was it a paid announcement, akin to the anniversary/engagement/wedding adverts?

If the latter, it is just another example of Gannett's "anything for revenue" standard, rather than social enlightenment.

2009-07-29 07:53:44

Wilson46201 [unverified] said:

Mr. Greenacres: are you doubting free enterprise and capitalism's innate capacity for social good and enlightenment?

2009-07-29 09:28:22

ruthholl [Member] said:

Tom G, it was a paid announcement -- as I said, the cost was $155. But it still sends a strong message.
At least Gannett has not started charging for the prayer (yet). I think that was up for discussion at one time...various pastors/spiritual gurus could submit prayers and pay to have them published.
I asked on Facebook: anybody else know of any other Indiana papers that run same/sex announcements for marriage?
Lay it on me...The Star may be the first.

2009-07-29 09:44:20

Wilson46201 [unverified] said:

As noted above, the Elkhart "Truth" has also started publishing same-sex wedding announcements. It's probably a tie between the Star and the Truth for the honors of being first...

2009-07-29 10:08:17

StarStruck [Member] said:

I think this is very progressive and I'm glad the Star is being all-inclusive, for whatever reason. Also, Gannett offers benefits for same-sex couples and has for years. For those who oppose same-sex marriage, I oppose war, murder, rape, robbery and a host of other things, but there they are in the paper.

2009-07-29 11:45:16

ruthholl [Member] said:

Excellent point, StarStruck.
I am told the Elkhart Truth has also run same/sex announcements. More to come on this...

2009-07-29 12:41:30

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Mr. Greenacres: are you doubting free enterprise and capitalism's innate capacity for social good and enlightenment?"


2009-07-29 13:37:19

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Ruth, I wouldn't be overly impressed with Ryerson's quick response to your query. He may be positioning himself to get a high-level management job with Oberweis Dairy (smile).

2009-07-29 14:57:02

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Run, Ruthie. Mr. Milz can't take Guy's job.

2009-07-29 16:31:03

james [unverified] said:

I doubt that being progressive on gay issues will get Ryerson anywhere with Oberweis. That company is very anti-gay.

2009-07-29 17:50:19

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Hey James,

About my Oberweis reference.....

That's a joke, son. Reference: the advertisement on Ruth's website. Lighten up, hoss, and bless your heart.

We're all in this thing together and nobody gets out alive.

2009-07-29 20:00:35

Ajax [unverified] said:

I have lived in Massachusetts for the past 10+ years, where we were told by the Theocrats (those who want their own narrow religious views to be the law of the land -- much like the Indiana Family Assoc there and Focus on the Family) warned that the sky would fall if we allowed same-sex marriage.

Well, this past May 17 marked the 5th year of ss marriage. The sky has not fallen. NO church or temple has been required to perform the ceremonies (as the The Theocrats said would happen).

The general population seems to have adjusted well, now it's just part of the territory. The only difference I notice is in the lives of the ss married couples (and their children) themselves - there's more stability and legal protection in their lives, and it shows in their faces!

Kudos to IndyStar for running ss celebrations. Maybe that will help Hoosiers get used to the concept.

2009-08-03 00:25:49

Marie Siroky [unverified] said:

I was surprised the Star ran it myself. Even though we paid as any other happy couple, the Star has that disclaimer about the right to reject any copy.I have not seen a same sex marriage announcement in any IN paper.(Knew about the engagement one in Elkart). About the only thing I didn't add was after an 18 year engagement we eloped. By the way, in our wedding album we have a old news copy of a Letter to the Editor dated Feb, 1996, from the Star stating our views on homosexual marriage. (A few weeks after Star ran some larger op ed pieces condemning it. ) Never relaized 13 years later the wedding anouncement would be in!

2009-08-04 21:46:23

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